Exploring the Underwater Web

From the beginning, submarine telegraph cables caught the public imagination. The combination of drama on the high seas and the wonder of instant communications inspired a variety of authors.

The Smithsonian Libraries holds many of the books published about cables. The Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology - one of 22 libraries within the Smithsonian - has custody of the rarer ones.

In addition, archives of company records, letters, and graphic images reside in the Dibner Library and in the Archives Center in the National Museum of American History building.

And of course the National Museum of American History also houses a large collection of cable-related artifacts. This combination of materials provided the stimulus and the framework for this exhibit.

The Atlantic Cable The year 2001 marks the 25th anniversary of the Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology. This rare book library was created by a gift of books from The Burndy Library, founded by Bern Dibner (1897-1988). An electrical engineer, book collector, author, and philanthropist, Dibner wrote a number of books on the history of science and technology - including this saga of the Atlantic cable.
Bern Dibner, The Atlantic Cable (New York, 1959)
Smithsonian Institution Libraries


Home Introduction Simple and Complex Optic and Electric Bold and Cautious
Connection and Isolation Peace and War Long and Short Defeat and Revival Bookcase