The steamship 'Great Eastern' (1858) laying the first successful Atlantic cable
The 'Great Eastern', or 'Leviathan', launched in 1858, was much larger than any previous ship and was not equalled in size for another 50 years. She had both paddle and screw propulsion and was designed to carry 4000 passengers; but she made only nine Atlantic crossings before her conversion to a cable-laying ship in order to lay the first transatlantic cable from Ireland to Newfoundland in 1865 (a previous attempt having failed in 1858). This failed when the cable broke and could not be recovered, but a repeat attempt in 1866 succeeded to recover and complete the 1865 cable.
- Image reference: BHC3380
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
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