National Geographic : 1955 Dec
808 Atlantic's First Telephone Cable Heads for Europe Out of Newfoundland For the three cable partners, the United States, Great Britain, and Canada, H.M.T .S . Monarch laid a 2,250-mile line from Clarenville to Oban, Scotland, June to October, 1955. Returning from Oban next summer, Monarch will lay a second cable along the same route. This route had been charted previously with great precision with electrical soundings from a ship. Cable was made in the United States and Great Britain according to specifications worked out by the American Telephone and Telegraph Company. lationship of each of these to the others. Though it has many roots in the past, oceanography as a science is less than a century old. In 1872 the British research ship Challenger began a 69,000-mile voyage through three oceans with a crew of scien tists, studying the seas as they went. Making soundings by the older method-weights on miles of rope-Challengerwas the first to re port in detail on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Echo Sounders Record Bottom Contours It was a far cry from Challenger's early attempts to the expeditions sponsored in 1947-48 by the National Geographic So ciety, Columbia University, and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. From the steel-hulled Atlantis, scientists made hun dreds of depth measurements along the bottom from Newfoundland to the Azores and south as far as Dakar and Barbados. To learn more about the geological structure of the bottom, they recorded the echoes of hundreds of explosive charges. To determine the composition of the sea floor, they raised numerous samples of silt, mud, sand, and rock, using dredges and corers on cables six miles long.* Based on their findings and those of similar expeditions, the new map presents a three dimensional picture of the Atlantic far more detailed and accurate than would have been possible even a few years ago. To present this full-length portrait of the Atlantic and the lands it washes, National Geographic cartographers chose the time-hon ored projection of Gerardus Mercator, famous Flemish mathematician and geographer of the 16th century. After nearly 400 years it is still the standard for sea navigation the world over. * See, in the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE: "Exploring the Mid-Atlantic Ridge,' September, 1948, and "New Discoveries on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge," November, 1949, both by Maurice Ewing.