The Electrical World, New York
The Bermuda-Halifax Cable
12 July 1890
Bermuda, now connected with the rest of the world by telegraph cable, is a group of islands lying six hundred miles east by south from Cape Hatteras, in latitude 32 deg. 20 min. north, and in longitude 64 deg. 50min. west. There are two towns, St. George’s and Hamilton, the latter being the centre of the colonial government. The whole population numbers about fifteen thousand, of whom about one-third only are whites. It is one of Great Britain’s naval stations, having large docking facilities and ample plant for the repair of modem war ships.
The cable company is an English joint stock concern known as the Halifax and Bermudas Cable Company, Limited, its office being at No. 33 Old Broad street, London. The capital of the company consists of £170,000.
The steamer “Westmeath,” which has just laid the cable, was fitted with the latest and most improved machinery for cable work. After landing the stores for the equipment of the Bermuda station, the “Westmeath” landed the shore end there and paid out a short. distance seaward. The cable was then cut and buoyed and the cable ship proceeded to Halifax, taking soundings on the way. At Halifax, where the “Westmeath” arrived June 18, the northern shore end was landed, and the ship started paying out toward Bermuda on the 24th ult.
The cable consists of five sizes—the Bermuda shore end, about six inches in diameter; the Halifax shore end, two “intermediates,” A and B, and the deep sea section. The cable conductor consists of a strand of seven copper wires, 120 pounds per knot, insulated with three alternate coatings of gutta percha and Chatterton’s compound, 150 pounds per knot. This core is covered with a serving of jute yarn steeped in preservative mixture applied wet and then whipped with three-thread jute yarn to keep the serving in place. The deep-sea cable is served with 16 galvanized homogeneous iron wires. The “intermediate A” is sheathed with 12 No. 8 (B.W.G.) and “intermediate B” with 12 No. 5 wires. The shore end consists of “intermediate A” sheathed with 12 strands of three No. 6 wires. The whole of the above is served with two coats of Russian hemp, laid on in opposite directions, and three coatings of bituminous compound, the first of which is put on next to the wires and the others over a layer of yarn.
The approximate weight of shore end, “intermediate A,” “intermediate B” and deep sea cables is 14, 5, 3 and 1 ton per knot respectively. The conductor resistance is 10.5 ohms per knot at 75 degrees Fahrenheit. The gutta percha resistance after 24 hours’ immersion in water at 75 degrees is to be not less than 1,000 megohms per knot after one minute’s electrification. The instruments to be employed are the modified form of syphon recorder.
The cable will be opened for general commercial business from 8 A.M. to 8 P.M., and the greatest amount of traffic is anticipated between New York and Bermuda. Arrangements are now being negotiated with all American, Canadian and European lines for a general interchange of business. The rate per word between Bermuda and Halifax will be 75 cents. The line is to be extended to Nassau and Jamaica, and thence to Progreso and Vera Cruz. Also a line will be laid from Bermuda to the Azores, and thence to Lisbon, Portugal.