Available financial data is used to paint a wider picture of the business of international communications in the 19th century.
Remarkable events can bring out the bard in people. The time contraction in communications which telegraphs and cables brought about was indeed remarkable and inspired many to put thoughts into verse.
Ocean telegraphs required different technology to land telegraphs and it was only when the first cables were in place that operators could develop coping strategies to increase traffic flow. The trouble is that in many cases no record was retained about how particular problems had been solved.
Story telling is part of the Irish tradition and rendition was accurate even when the raconteur did not understand the words that were spoken. As this tale involves much verbal obscenities it is given in a parallel translation which it is hoped will avoid offence.
Fun At Va
We do not know how many issues of this light-hearted in-house journal were produced at Valentia. Here is a copy from December 1919.
Communications in Troubled Times
For a large part of its recent history the southern part of Ireland has seen the telecommunications infrastructure through and from its shores as an alien technology of little relevance. Nevertheless, this infrastructure has assumed major importance at various times and indeed, led to two firsts in 1922: the first real internet connection and the first sea-born military assault for the protection of key installations.