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Born in 1819, Cyrus West Field began work at age fifteen as an office boy for A.T. Stewart & Co., New York City’s first department store. By age twenty, he was a partner in a paper manufacturing company, and at thirty-three he retired from business a wealthy man.
In 1854 Field began the quest to lay a telegraphic cable across the Atlantic Ocean. After several failed attempts, in August 1858 Field arranged for Queen Victoria to send the first transatlantic message to President James Buchanan, and New York erupted in celebrations, lauding Field, telegraph inventor Samuel F. B. Morse, modern technology, and American ingenuity in general. But the cable broke after just three weeks, and Field did not complete his project until 1866.
Field posed for the portrait in 1858, and in an unusual departure, Brady added two telling props - a length of wire cable and a globe.

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When Frederic Gisborne met with Cyrus Field early in 1854, it was with the intention of persuading Field to invest in his Newfoundland telegraph company. Field was not very enthusiastic about this project, but his brother, Henry, reports:
“After (Gisborne) left, Mr. Field took the globe which was standing in the library and began to turn it over. It was while thus studying the globe that the idea first occurred to him, that the telegraph migh be carried further still, and be made to span the Atlantic Ocean.”
The globe appears in Mathew Brady’s portraits of Field, and in other photographs, and is featured in Daniel Huntington’s painting, The Atlantic Cable Projectors.
After Field’s death in 1892 his family offered many of his possessions to the Smithsonian, and Field’s globe is now in the National Museum of American History. Cyrus Field’s will gives details of a number of his cable-related presentation pieces and souvenirs.

Cite:  http://atlantic-cable.com//Field/

A transatlantic telegraph cable is an undersea cable running under the Atlantic Ocean used for telegraph communications. The first was laid across the floor of the Atlantic from Telegraph Field, Foilhommerum Bay, Valentia Island in western Ireland to Heart’s Content in eastern Newfoundland. The first communications occurred August 16, 1858, reducing the communication time between North America and Europe from ten days – the time it took to deliver a message by ship to a matter of minutes.

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History:
Cyrus West Field and the Atlantic Telegraph Company were behind the construction of the first transatlantic telegraph cable. The project began in 1854 and was completed in 1858. The cable functioned for only three weeks, but it was the first such project to yield practical results. Signal quality declined rapidly, slowing transmission to an almost unusable speed. The cable was destroyed the following month when Wildman Whitehouse applied excessive voltage to it while trying to achieve faster operation.  It has been argued that the faulty manufacture, storage and handling of the 1858 cable would have led to premature failure. The telegraph cable’s rapid failure undermined public and investor confidence and delayed efforts to restore a connection. A second attempt was undertaken in 1865 with much-improved material and, following some setbacks, a connection was completed and put into service on July 28, 1866.

Previously, telegraph communications between Europe and the Americas could only happen by ships which were, on occasion, delayed for weeks due to severe winter storms. The transatlantic cable reduced communication time considerably, allowing a message and a response in the same day. Five attempts to lay a cable were made over a nine-year period – one in 1857, two in 1858, one in 1865, and one in 1866. Lasting connections were finally achieved with the 1866 cable and the 1865 cable, which was repaired by Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s ship the SS Great Eastern, captained by Sir James Anderson.In the 1870s duplex and quadruplex transmission and receiving systems were set up that could relay multiple messages over the cable. Additional telegraph cables were laid between Foilhommerum and Heart’s Content in 1873, 1874, 1880, and 1894. By the end of the 19th century, British-, French-, German-, and American-owned cables linked Europe and North America in a sophisticated web of telegraphic communications.

Cite:  http://www.g1886.com/the-atlantic-telegraph-company/

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In 1854, Cyrus West Field conceived the idea of the telegraph cable and secured a charter to lay a well-insulated line across the floor of the Atlantic Ocean. Obtaining the aid of British and American naval ships, he made four unsuccessful attempts, beginning in 1857. In July 1858, four British and American vessels–the Agamemnon, the Valorous, the Niagara, and the Gorgon–met in mid-ocean for the fifth attempt. On July 29, the Niagara and the Gorgon, with their load of cable, departed for Trinity Bay, Newfoundland, while the Agamemnon and the Valorous embarked for Valentia, Ireland. By August 5, the cable had been successfully laid, stretching nearly 2,000 miles across the Atlantic at a depth often of more than two miles. On August 16, President James Buchanan and Queen Victoria exchanged formal introductory and complimentary messages. Unfortunately, the cable proved weak and the current insufficient and by the beginning of September had ceased functioning.
Field later raised new funds and made new arrangements. In 1866, the British ship Great Eastern succeeded in laying the first permanent telegraph line across the Atlantic Ocean. Cyrus West Field was the object of much praise on both sides of the Atlantic for his persistence in accomplishing what many thought to be an impossible undertaking. He later promoted other oceanic cables, including telegraph lines that stretched from Hawaii to Asia and Australia.

Cite:  https://www.history.com/this-day-in-hist...-completed
Field was a persistent man. He became suicidal when the cable broke but, saw his way through it.

In 1854 Field began the quest to lay a telegraphic cable across the Atlantic Ocean. After several failed attempts, in August 1858 Field arranged for Queen Victoria to send the first transatlantic message to President James Buchanan, and New York erupted in celebrations, lauding Field, telegraph inventor Samuel F. B. Morse, modern technology, and American ingenuity in general. But the cable broke after just three weeks, and Field did not complete his project until 1866.



Good photos by Mathew Brady
http://atlantic-cable.com/Field/