While vacationing in Cape Cod, a History Detectives fan from Maine found what looked like a length of old, twisted rope. Closer inspection revealed a curious coil of wire cables covered in thick fabric.
He knows that in the 1800’s communication cables stretched from New England to Europe; so our viewer wonders if he’s found a piece of one of the first transatlantic cables that connected the United States to Europe.
To solve the case, History Detectives speaks to historians to learn the monumental significance of the transatlantic cables, takes the cable to a lab to test for the type and age of the materials in the cable, then combs through the archives in the town of Orleans, MA, where our viewer found the cable, to pinpoint if this coil of wires made – or relayed - history.
Transatlantic Cable Images
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- Also in Emerging Modern America: 1890-1930 McKinley Casket Flag Did this flag once drape the casket of President William McKinley?
- Also in Emerging Modern America: 1890-1930 Ventriloquist Dummy How did an African-American ventriloquist act become so successful in a time of racial unrest?
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- Also in this episode Baker's Gold What role did these unusual drawings play in one of the largest mass migrations in American history?
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