The Atlantic Telegraph: A History of Preliminary Experimental Proceedings, and a Descriptive Account of the Present State & Prospects of the Undertaking

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Jarrold and sons, 1857 - Cables, Submarine - 69 pages
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The book's author was R.J. Mann, a popular science writer of the time, although much of the content was provided by Wildman Whitehouse, the Atlantic Telegraph Company's Electrician. Further details here:
http://atlantic-cable.com/Books/1857AT/index.htm

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Page 23 - There can be no question but that, with a cable containing a single conducting wire, of a size not exceeding that through which we worked, and with equal insulation, it would be easy to telegraph from Ireland to Newfoundland at the speed of at least eight or ten words per minute.
Page 59 - The silver lamina; are of considerable thickness, and securely " platinated " all over ; that is, platinum is thrown down upon their surfaces in a compact metallic form, and not merely in the black pulverulent state ; consequently, they are almost exempt from wear. Each zinc lamina is withdrawn so soon as its amalgamation is injuriously affected, or so soon as its own substance is mainly eaten away by the action of the chemical menstruum in which it is immersed, and a freshly-amalgamated., or new...
Page 62 - It may be added that one of these perpetual maintenance batteries has now been constantly at work for months in a large electrotyping office in London, and has thoroughly established its reputation for unparalleled steadiness, convenience and power. The battery is also unquestionably one of the most economical that has ever been set to work, considering the amount of service it is able to perform. It is calculated that the cost of maintaining the ten-celled battery in operation at the terminal stations...
Page 23 - Such are the capabilities of a single wire-cable, fairly and moderately computed. It is, however, evident to me, that by improvements in the arrangement of the signals themselves, aided by the adoption of a code or system constructed upon the principles of the best nautical code, as suggested by Mr.
Page 23 - ... simple conductors. That magneto-electric currents travel more quickly along such wires than simple voltaic currents. That magneto-electric currents travel more quickly when in high energy than when in low, although voltaic currents of large intensity do not travel more quickly than voltaic currents of small intensity. That the velocity of the transmission of signals along insulated submerged wires can be enormously increased from the rate, indeed, of one in two seconds, to the rate of eight in...
Page 20 - The experimenter worked with a 300 miles length of wire, which he was enabled so to double and treble at will, that it became for the time virtually a wire of twice or three times the original capacity. The result was that it appeared the wire of increased capacity did not transmit electrical signals with greater facility and speed than the smaller one. With a length of 166 miles, the velocity of movement of the simple voltaic current came out '16 of a second for a single wire; '21 of a second for...
Page 24 - That several distinct waves of electricity may be travelling along different parts of a long wire simultaneously, and within certain limits, without interference. That large coated wires used beneath the water or the earth are worse conductors, so far as velocity of transmission is concerned, than small ones, and therefore are not so well suited as small ones for the purposes of submarine transmission of telegraphic signals ; and...
Page 61 - ... when contact was completed. Still there remained enough to constitute a very undesirable residue. This was disposed of finally, after sundry tentative attempts, by coiling a piece of fine platinum wire, and placing it in a porcelain vessel of water, and then leaving this fine platinum coil in constant communication with the opposite poles. As much electricity as this little channel can accommodate, is constantly running through it from pole to pole, milking it very hot, but it is kept from getting...
Page 61 - ... work, considering the amount of service it is able to perform. It is calculated that the cost of maintaining the ten-celled battery in operation at the terminal stations on either side of the Atlantic, including all wear and tear, and consumption of material, will not exceed one shilling per hour. The flashes of light and crackling sparks produced on making and breaking contact with the poles of this grand battery, are very undesirable phenomena in one particular. They are accompanied by a considerable...
Page 59 - So long as a fair amount of attention is given to the renewal of its zinc clement piece-meal, it is indeed literally exhaustless and permanent. This very desirable quality is secured by a singularly simple and ingenious contrivance. The cell itself is formed of a quadrangular trough of gutta percha, wood-strengthened outside, in which dilute acid is contained, the proportion of acid to water being one part in fifteen or sixteen. There are grooves in the gutta percha, into which several metal plates...

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