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the foot of a Dane. In course of time, therefore, early physicians, who lived in lands remote from the name Bidekar, or Bedegar, as some people pro- that which constituted my early home, found that nounced it, i.e., the little stabber, came to be the they could not always obtain the genuine Bedegar recognised term for a thistle, as being the most for their patients, they applied the famous name to common of the prickle-bearing plants. We therefore other articles found nearer home ; and thus the honour have now to turn away from the historical personages which had for so many years centred about the Arab who, a thousand years before the birth of Christ, had name began to be dimmed. Of this I shall have to made themselves famous by the use of the spear, and say a little more shortly, but it is needful at this look at the thistle, which had for a similar reason point to refer to a few of the other names by which inherited the same name ; and in order to carry on we came to be known, either occasionally or regularly, my story it will be necessary to say that the Arab in various parts of Europe. I must also show how physicians must next be consulted, seeing that they many ups and downs our family history experienced, for some centuries bestowed upon my relatives the owing to the translation of those names from one most scrupulous attention. Perhaps I ought to language into another, and what curious results folremark that for a long period these learned men took lowed this process. One thing is a source of comfort an important part in the spread of medical informa- to me, however, and it is this. No matter where we tion among the other races of mankind, and having might be carried by the merchant, or what vicissitudes discovered certain remedies for the ills of the flesh, we might experience in going from country to country, they introduced these to the strangers beyond the the people almost invariably associated our old family seas, along with the names by which they were name with the new names which they gave us, and known in Arabia. It was in this way that the thus I can Boast the possession of the original title Greeks, Romans, and other peoples of early as well to-day : though, as will be seen, that name has been as more inodern times came into the possession of shifted from the spine-bearing thistle to a totally various medicinal herbs which they often knew only different plant or growth. by their Arabic names. When they wished to enter

(To be continued.) these names in their list of medicines, however, it was necessary that they should add an equivalent term from their own vocabulary which should make it possible for others to identify the article when THE TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION necessary; and it is thus that I have found myself (in BETWEEN GREAT BRITAIN, EUROPE, the person of my ancestors) transferred from Arabia AMERICA, AND THE EAST. Felix to classical Greece, where the people were

By GEORGE WALTER NIVEN. wont to speak of me under two names, viz., Bedegar and Akantha-leuke. I confess that, while I felt "HERE are at present twenty-six Submarine flattered at seeing my forefathers thus introduced to the famous Grecians, I could not at first understand which is about forty million pounds sterling. Their what they meant by this new name by which they revenue, including subsidies, amounts to 3,204,060l. ; translated the old family name of Bedegar. Upon

their reserves and sinking sunds to 3,610,000l. ; and inquiry, however, I found that leuke was a Greek their dividends are from one to 14* per cent. The term meaning white, and akantha soon suggested to receipts from the Atlantic cables alone amount to my mind a spinous or thorny plant usually known as about 800,oool. annually.. the acanthus. Thus I found that the Greek regarded

The number of cables laid down throughout the the white acanthus as being similar to if not the

world is 1045, of which 798 belong to governments, same as bedegar. This idea was soon abundantly and 247 to private companies. The total length of confirmed, for I read that when a Roman dealer in those cables is 120,070 nautical miles, of which herbs saw the physician display his bedegar, he 107,546 are owned by private telegraph companies, exclaimed, “Why, that is Spina alba!” I happened nearly all British ; the remainder, or 12,524 miles to know enough Latin to be able to translate these are owned by governments. words, and I found that while the word alba, like The largest telegraphic organisation in the world the Greek leuke, meant white, spina corresponded

is that of the Eastern Telegraphic Company with with acanthus. All this is matter of history, and, if seventy cables of a total length of 21,859 nautical it were necessary, I could easily mention the names miles. The second largest, is the Eastern Extension, of ancient sages who have favoured my predecessors Australasia and China Telegraph Company, with with their kindly notice.

twenty-two cables of a total length of 12,958 nautical While I cannot help feeling a little proud of the miles. The Eastern Company work all the cables on distinguished position which the name of our family the way to Bombay, and the Eastern Extension was securing during the early ages of the Christian Company from Madras eastwards. The cables era, there is one matter which has given me con- landing in Japan, however, are owned by a Danish siderable anxiety. I am sorry to find that when the Company, the Great Northern. The English station Fig. 3.-Map showing Cables from Great Britain to America and ihe Continent. 1-18, private companies; 19-31, Government

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Cables ; 32, proposed Cable.

The third largest cable company is the AngloAmerican Telegraph Company, with thirteen cables of a total length of 10,196 miles.

The British Government has one hundred and

The longest Government cable in British waters, is that from Sinclair Bay, Wick, to Sandwick Bay, Shetland, of the length of 122 miles, and laid in 1885. The shortest being four cables across the

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514 Fig. 4.—Map showing the Main Cables from Europe, and their connections with Canada and the United States. References to

places-A, Heart's Content; B, Placentia ; C, St. Pierre Miquelon; D, North Sydney, Cape Breton Island; E, Louisbourg ; F, Canso, Nova Scotia ; G, Halifax; H, Bird Rock; I, Madeline Isles; J, Anticosti; K, Charlotte Town, Prince Edward's Isle; LLL, Banks of Newfoundland.

The greatest mileage is owned by the Government of France with 3269 miles of the total length of fiftyone cables.

The next being British India with 1714 miles, and

The two next oldest cables in use being those respectively from Ramsgate to Ostend ; and St. Petersburg to Cronstadt, and both laid down in


Several unsuccessful attempts were made to connect England and Ireland by means of a cable between Holyhead and Howth; but communication between the two countries was finally effected in 1853, when a cable was successfully laid between Portpatrick and Donaghadee (31).

As showing one of the dangers to which cables laid in comparatively shallow waters are exposed, we may relate the curious accident that befell the Portpatrick cable in 1873. During a severe storm in that year the Port Glasgow ship “Marseilles” capsized in the vicinity of Portpatrick, the anchor fell out and caught on to the telegraph cable, which, however, gave way.

The ship was afterwards captured and towed into Rothesay Bay, in an inverted position, by a Greenock tug, when part of the cable was found entangled about the anchor.

The smallest private companies are the IndoEuropean Telegraph Company, with two cables in the Crimea of a total length of fourteen and a half miles; and the River Plate Telegraph Company with one cable from Monte Video to Buenos Ayres, thirtytwo miles long.

The smallest Government telegraph organisation is that of New Caledunia with its one solitary cable one mile long.

We will now proceed to give a few particulars regarding the companies having cables from Europe to America.

The most important company is the AngloAmerican Telegraph Company, whose history is inseparably connected with that of the trials and struggles of the pioneers of cable laying.

Its history begins in 1851 when Tebets, an American, and Gisborne, an English engineer, formed the Electric Telegraph Company of Newfoundland, and laid down twelve miles of cable between Cape Breton and Nova Scotia. This company was shortly afterwards dissolved, and its property transferred to the Telegraphic Company of New York, Newfoundland and London, founded by Cyrus W. Field, and who in 1854 obtained an extension of the monopoly from the Government to lay cables.

A cable, eighty-five miles long, was laid between Cape Breton and Newfoundland (22).

Field then came to England and floated an English company which amalgamated with the American one under the title of the Atlantic Telegraph Company.

The story of the laying of the Atlantic Cables of 1857 and 1865, their successes and failures has often been told, so we need not go into any details. It may be noted, however, that communication was first established between Valentia and Newfoundland on 5th August 1858, but the cable ceased to transmit signals on ist September following. During that period, ninety-seven messages had been sent from Valentia, and two hundred and sixty-nine from Newfoundland. At the present

time, the

Atlantic Cables now convey about ten thousand messages daily between the two continents. The losses attending the laying of the 1865 Cable resulted in the financial ruin of the Atlantic Company, and its amalgamation with a new company, The AngloAmerican. In 1866 the Great Eastern successfully laid the first cable for the new company, and with the assistance of other vessels succeeded in picking up the broken end of the 1865 cable and completing its connection with Newfoundland.

The three cables of this company presently in use and connecting Valentia in Ireland with Heart's Content in Newfoundland, were laid in 1873, 1874, and 1880 ; and (1) are respectively 1886, 1846, and 1890 nautical miles in 'length. This company also owns the longest cable in the world, that, namely from Brest in France to St. Pierre Miquelon, one of a small group of islands off the south coast of Newfoundland, and which, strange to say, still belongs to France (6).

The length of this cable is 2685 nautical miles, or 3092 statute miles. It was laid in 1869. There are seven cables of a total length of 1773 miles, connecting Heart's Content, Placentia Bay and St. Pierre, with North Sydney, Nova Scotia, and Duxbury near Boston, belonging to the American Company. Communication is maintained with Germany and the rest of the continent by means of a cable from Valentia to Emden 846 miles long (7), and a cable from Brest to Salcombe, Devon, connects the St. Pierre and Brest cable with the London office of the company (10).*

The station of the Direct United States Cable Company is situated at Ballinskelligs Bay, Ireland (2). Its cable was laid in 1874-5, and is 2565 miles in length. The terminal point on the other side of the Atlantic is at Halifax, Nova Scotia, from whence the cable is continued to Rye Beach, New Hampshire a distance of 536 miles and thence by a land line of 500 miles to New York (17).

The Commercial Cable Company's station in Ireland is at Waterville, a short distance from Ballinskelligs (3). It owns two cables laid in 1885; the northern cable being 2350, and the southern 2388 miles long. They terminate in America at Canso, Nova Scotia. From Canso a cable is laid to Rockfort, about thirty miles south of Boston, Mass.; a distance of 518 miles (16), and another is laid to New York 840 miles in length (15). This company has direct communication with the Continent by means of a cable from Waterville to Havre of 510 miles (9), and with England by a cable to Westonsuper-Mare, near Bristol, of 328 miles (8).

Cables not fully described in the text, Map B. Eight cables at the Anglo-American Company ; 7. Heart's Content to Placentia, two cables; *, Placentia to St. Pierre ; 9, St. Pierre to North Sydney; 10. Placentia to North Sydney, two cables ; 11, St. Pierre to Duxbury; 18, Charlotte's Town to Nova Scotia ; 19. Government Cable, North Sydney to Bird Rock, Madeline Isles, and Anticosti; 21, Halifax and Bermuda Cable Company's proposed cable to Bermuda.


laid in 1858 (21), and from Benacre, Kessingland, to Zandvoort (22).

Two cables to Belgium : Ramsgate to Ostend (23), and Dover to Furness (24).

Four cables to France : Dover to Calais, laid in 1851 (25), and to Boulogne (26), laid in 1859 ; Beachy Head to Dieppe (27), and to Havre (28).

There is a cable from the Dorset coast to Alderney and Guernsey, and from the Devon coast to Guernsey, Jersey, and Coutances, France (29 and


The Western Union Telegraph Company (the lessees of the lines of the American Telegraph and Cable Company) has two cables from Sennen Cove, Land's End, to Canso, Nova Scotia (4). The cable of 1881 is 2531, and that of 1882 is 2576 miles in length. Two cables were laid in November 1889 between Canso and New York (14).

The Compagnie Française du Telegraphe de Paris à New York, has a cable from Brest to St. Pierre Miquelon, of 2242 miles in length (5), from thence a cable is laid to Louisbourg, Cape Breton (12), and another to Cape Cod (13). It has also a cable from Brest to Porcella Cove, Cornwall (11).

Those ten cables owned by the six companies named, of the total mileage of 22,959, not counting connections, represent the entire direct communication between the continents of Europe and North America.

A new company, not included in the preceding statistics, proposes to lay a cable from Westport, Ireland, to some point in the Straits of Belle Isle on the Labrador coast (Map A 32, Map B 20).

The station of the Eastern Telegraph Company is at Porthcurno Cove, Penzance, from whence it has two cables to Lisbon, one laid in 1880, 850 miles Jong, the other laid in 1887, 892 miles long (12), and one cable to Vigo, Spain, laid in 1873, 622 miles Jong (13). From Lisbon the cable is continued to Gibraltar and the East, whither we need not follow it, our intention being to confine ourselves entirely to a brief account of those cables communicating directly with Europe and America. As already stated, this company has altogether seventy cables of a total length of nearly twenty-two thousand miles.

The Direct Spanish Telegraph Company has a cable, laid in 1884, from Kennach Cove, Cornwall, to Bilbao, Spain, 486 miles in length (14).

Coming now to shorter cables connecting Britain with the Continent, we have those of the Great Northern Telegraph Company, namely, Peterhead to Ekersund, Norway, 267 miles (15), Newbiggin, near Newcastle, to Arendal, Norway, 424 miles, and thence to Marstrand, Sweden, 98 miles.

Two cables from the same place in England to Denmark (Hirstals and Sondervig) of 420 and 337 miles respectively (17 and 18).

The Great Northern Company has altogether twenty-two cables, of a total length of 6110 miles. The line from Newcastle is worked direct to Nylstud, in Russia-a distance of 890 miles-by means of a “Relay” or “Repeater," at Gothenburg. The Relay is the apparatus at which the Newcastle current terminates, but in ending there it itself starts a fresh current on to Russia.

The other Continental connections belong to the Governmment, and are as follows: two cables to Germany, Lowestoft to Norderney, 232 miles, and to Emden, 226 miles (19 and 20).

Two cables to Holland : Lowestost to Zandvoort,

A word now as to the instruments used for the transmission of messages.

Those for cables are of two kinds, the Mirror Galvanometer, and the Syphon Recorder, both the product of Sir Wm. Thompson's great inventive genius.

When the Calais-Dover and other short cables were first worked, it was found that the ordinary needle instrument in use on land-lines was not sufficiently sensitive to be affected trustworthily by the ordinary current it was possible to send through a cable. Either the current must be increased in strength, or the instrument used must be more sensitive. The latter alternative was chosen, and the Mirror-Galvanometer was the result. The principle on which this instrument works may be briefly described thus : the transmitted current of electricity causes the deflection of a small magnet, to which is attached a mirror about the three-eighths of an inch in diameter, a beam of light is reflected from a properly-arranged lamp, by the mirror, on to a paper scale. The dots and dashes of the Morse code are indicated by the motions of the spot of light to the right and left. respectively, of the centre of the scale.

The Mirror-Galvanometer is now almost entirely superseded by the Syphon-Recorder. This is a sumewhat complicated apparatus, with the details of which we need not trouble our readers. Suffice it for us to explain that a suspended coil is made to communicate its motions, by means of fine silk fibres, to a very fine: glass syphon, one end of which dips into an insulated metallic vessel containing ink, while the other extremity rests, when no current is passing, just over the centre of a paper ribbon. When the instrument is in use the ink is driven out of the syphon in small drops by means of an electrical arrangement, and the ribbon underneath is at the same time caused to pass underneath its point by means of clockwork. If a current be now sent through the line, the syphon will move above or below the central line thus giving a permanent record of the message, which the mirrorinstrument does not. The waves written by the syphon above the central line corresponding to the dots of the Morse Code, and the waves underneath corresponding to the dashes.

The cost of the transmission of a cablegram varies from one shilling per word, the rate to New York and east of the Mississippi, to ten shillings and sevenpence

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