Top News

First transatlantic telegram sent from Ireland to Newfoundland 160 years ago today

Irish artist Padraig Tarrant stands beside a stone sculpture unveiled in Heart's Content Thursday to commemorate the transatlantic telegraph cable. He created a matching piece for Valentia Island, Ireland.
Irish artist Padraig Tarrant stands beside a stone sculpture unveiled in Heart's Content to commemorate the transatlantic telegraph cable. He created a matching piece for Valentia Island, Ireland. - SaltWire Network file photo

This must have been a very exciting day in Heart's Content 160 years ago.

History was made in Newfoundland with the first official telegram between two continents on Aug. 16, 1858.

A project to install the first transatlantic telegraph cable on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean from Valentia Island in Ireland to Heart’s Content, Newfoundland began in 1854.

The first message was a letter of congratulations from Queen Victoria to U.S. President James Buchanan.

The cable only worked for three weeks, but more durable ones would follow in the years to come.

The only way to send communications between Europe and North America prior to the transatlantic telegraph cable was by ship, which took some 10 days or more, depending on the weather.

Recent Stories