Heart’s Con­tent Cable Sta­tion Pro­vin­cial His­toric Site, New­found­land and Labrador

Canadian Geographic - - UNESCO -

SIG­NIF­I­CANCE It’s a well-pre­served mon­u­ment ded­i­cated to a ma­jor step in com­mu­ni­ca­tions tech­nol­ogy. In 1866, the first transat­lantic cable was es­tab­lished be­tween New­found­land and Valen­tia, Ire­land. SIZE The site con­sists of an of­fice build­ing, erected in 1875, and an ex­ten­sion added in 1918. LO­CA­TION The town of Heart’s Con­tent, which counts its pop­u­la­tion in the hun­dreds, is 124 kilo­me­tres from St. John’s. CUR­RENT OF­FI­CIAL PRO­TEC­TION It was des­ig­nated a Pro­vin­cial His­toric Site after the sta­tion was closed in 1965. Un­til then, it was part of Western Union’s in­ter­na­tional cable sys­tem. RAR­ITY FAC­TOR This well-pre­served time cap­sule marks a ma­jor shift in the speed of com­mu­ni­ca­tions. News that once trav­elled by let­ters sent on ships that might take sev­eral days to reach their des­ti­na­tion took just min­utes to cross the ocean after the sta­tion opened.

THE LO­CAL’S TAKE “The suc­cess­ful trans­mis­sion rep­re­sents one of the ma­jor mile­stones in global com­mu­ni­ca­tions and the birth of glob­al­iza­tion,” says Jerry Dick, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Her­itage NL. “This world-al­ter­ing achieve­ment, re­quir­ing 10 years and five at­tempts, was con­sid­ered by many of the age to be im­pos­si­ble. The cable con­nected the two con­ti­nents like never be­fore by pro­vid­ing the abil­ity to in­stantly and ac­cu­rately com­mu­ni­cate be­tween the old world and the new.”

Heart’s Con­tent Cable Sta­tion Pro­vin­cial His­toric Site

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