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The Wire that Changed the World

Thursday, 11 November 2021, 7 – 8:30pm

The Wire that Changed the World

In 1858 the first ever message to be transmitted across an ocean – a note of congratulations from Queen Victoria to President Buchanan of the United States -- was sent from Valentia Island in County Kerry to Trinity Bay in Newfoundland. The 98-word message took 16 hours to transmit, and the US President’s 143-word response was sent in just 10 hours. Improvements in cable technology meant that when the next successful cable was laid, in 1866, messages that had once taken two weeks by ship could be sent in minutes.

Valentia Island in County Kerry played a major role in connecting the old and new worlds for the first time, placing Ireland at the ‘cross hairs’ of the emerging global communications industry. The Valentia Transatlantic Cable Foundation Board, established in May 2016, is now working with the community at Valentia and Kerry County Council to pursue UNESCO Heritage status for the Transatlantic Cable ensemble at Valentia.

Join the Trinity Long Room Hub in partnership with the Valentia Transatlantic Cable Foundation on Thursday, 11 November, at 7pm, to explore the significance of this historic achievement and hear how the ‘wire that changed the world’ continues to inspire us today.


Speakers and guests:
Minister of Finance, Paschal Donohoe TD
The Provost & President of Trinity College Dublin, Dr Linda Doyle
H.E. Ms. Nancy Smyth, Ambassador of Canada
Professor Eve Patten, Director of the Trinity Long Room Hub
Leonard Hobbs, Chairperson, Valentia Transatlantic Cable Foundation & Director, Trinity Research & Innovation, Trinity College Dublin
Donard De Cogan, Professor Emeritus, University of East Anglia
Christopher Morash, Seamus Heaney Professor of Irish Writing at Trinity College Dublin

Campus LocationTrinity Long Room Hub Arts and Humanities Research Institute
Accessibility: Yes
Room: Online webinar
Event Category: Alumni, Arts and Culture, Lectures and Seminars, Public, Workshops and Training
Type of Event: One-time event
Audience: Undergrad, Postgrad, Alumni, Faculty & Staff, Public
Cost: Free but Registration Required

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