By John Steele Gordon
Today, in an international during which information flashes around the world straight away, time lags are unimaginable. within the mid-nineteenth century, verbal exchange among the U.S. and Europe -- the guts of worldwide affairs -- was once in simple terms as speedy because the quickest send may well move the Atlantic, making the us remoted and vulnerable.
But in 1866, the outdated and New Worlds have been united through the profitable laying of a cable around the Atlantic. John Steele Gordon's e-book chronicles this notable fulfillment -- the brainchild of yank businessman Cyrus box and one of many maximum engineering feats of the 19th century. An epic fight, it required a decade of attempt, a number of failed makes an attempt, thousands of bucks in capital, a close to catastrophe at sea, the overcoming of possible insurmountable technological difficulties, and unusual actual, monetary, and highbrow braveness. Bringing to existence an ignored tale within the annals of know-how, John Steele Gordon sheds interesting new gentle in this American saga that actually replaced the world.
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Additional info for A Thread Across the Ocean: The Heroic Story of the Transatlantic Cable
There was not even a regular postal system; letters were entrusted to anyone willing to carry them, to be delivered when and if possible. Today, such isolation is almost inconceivable. After all, it took the Apollo astronauts only three days to reach the moon, a distance almost a hundred times as great as the width of the Atlantic, and news from the moon (not, to be sure, that there is much) could reach us in seconds. But in Thomas Nightingale's day, the vast gulf between Europe and America was simply a fact of life.
Since the early eighteenth century, the pound had been valued at three pounds, seventeen shillings, ten and a halfpence to the ounce of gold. After 1821 the Bank of England had stood ready to buy or sell unlimited amounts of sterling for gold at that rate. This was the beginning of the "gold standard" that would spread around the world over the next half century and endure in one form or another until 1971. As a result, Bank of England pound notes traded at par with gold and were acceptable as payment almost everywhere.
After graduating from Yale with high honors in 1801, he studied under Dr. Charles Backus, of Somers, Connecticut, whose book The Nature and Influence of Godly Fear had been widely read. "2 As one might expect, he was not given to mincing words. When Peter Lung was sentenced to hang for having hacked his wife to death in a drunken rage, Field preached a sermon at his execution, as the condemned stood before him. What you have done, he told Lung, "subjects you to ignominious execution. From this there is no escape.
A Thread Across the Ocean: The Heroic Story of the Transatlantic Cable by John Steele Gordon