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Istituto per i Beni Culturali Emilia-Romagna

Memoria e Ricerca

Spain and Trans-Atlantic Telegraphy: 1858-98

di Melcior Arcarons
in Memoria e Ricerca n.s. 5 (2000), p. 45

Favoured by its geographic position, from the very beginning Spain took part in the international competition for the control of submarine telegraphy. Starting from the second half of the 1850’s, the efforts to lay a trans-Atlantic cable multiplied. The first project was put forward by Horatio J. Perry, Secretary of Embassy and Responsible for the American affairs in Madrid. At first, Perry took into account the possibility of laying a cable connecting Cuba, then a Spanish settlement, and the US with which Spain was in bad terms. Meanwhile, many projects for a south-Atlantic link followed one another, but none of them met with the longed for success. More successful were the projects put forward at the beginning of the 1870’s, aimed at connecting Spain with the rest of Europe. By that time a Portoguese-Brazilian link was inaugurated as well.