The Story of Transatlantic Communications

1 day seminar to be held at the Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester

28 October 2008

Synopsis 2008 marks the 150th anniversary of the first communications link laid across 1600 nautical miles of the Atlantic Ocean. This telegraph cable was the first in a series of cutting-edge technologies enabling fast and accurate communication between Britain and the United States, linking the old and the new worlds.

This one day seminar, organised by the History of Technology TPN and the Manchester Local Network in conjunction with the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester, looks at the exciting story of transatlantic communications. From the projects that enabled the first attempt to lay a telegraph cable across the Atlantic in 1858 to Telstar and modern communications, engineers and academics will examine the technologies and the people that made these links possible.

The seminar will be followed by an evening lecture given by Professor Nigel Linge, of the University of Salford. Both events are free and have been organised as part of the Manchester Science Week. A small associated exhibition at the MOSI is planned.

Registration Both the one-day seminar and the evening event are free and are organised in conjunction with Manchester Science Week. Advance registration is essential – Contact Anne Locker [ mailto:[email protected] ][email protected] 020 7344 8407 or register online at [ ]

Provisional programme

1000-1030 Arrival and coffee 1030-1045 Bob Martin-Royle :Chairman’s welcome, introduction and overview 1045-1115 Neil Barton: First Steps to Transatlantic, Crossing the Irish Sea 1852-1854 1115-1130 Donard de Cogan: Background to the 1858 telegraph cable 1130-1145 Pauline Webb: John Pender and Manchester’s contribution 1145-1215 Donard de Cogan: Insights into the landing of the 1858 cable 1215-1230 Pat Wilson : Lord Kelvin’s contribution to submarine telegraphy 1230-1300 Questions and discussion 1300-1400 LUNCH 1400-1430 Bob Martin-Royle: Marconi and the first transatlantic wireless links 1430-1515 Phil Kelly: TAT1 (includes film) — the first telephone cable 1515-1545 TEA 1545-1615 Des Prouse: Telstar — the birth of transatlantic satellite communications 1615-1630 Transatlantic communications: the present and future (TBC) 1630-1700 Questions, discussion and closing remarks