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U.S. Census Bureau Daily Feature for July 27: Transatlantic Cable


WASHINGTON, July 26 -- Following is the daily “Profile America” feature for July 27 from the U.S. Census Bureau:


Profile America for Wednesday, July 27. Most of us think the ability to quickly communicate with someone on another continent is all part of the explosion in technology of the last decade or two. But the first successful transatlantic telegraph cable was completed on this day in 1866, when the ship Great Eastern finished laying a cable from Ireland to Newfoundland, a distance of nearly 1,700 nautical miles. It cost $1 to send a letter -- at a time when the average wage was about $20 a month. Now, in spite of satellites, international telephone service still largely depends on cables, but they are made of high-capacity fiber optics. Americans make more than 18 million international calls every day -- both for personal conversation and for linking computers. Find these and more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau on the Web at


Profile America is produced by the Public Information Office of the U.S. Census Bureau. These daily features are available as produced segments ready to air on a monthly CD or on Internet at (look under the “Newsroom” button). For further information, contact Rick Reed at 301-763-2812, fax at 301-457-3670, or e-mail at


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