Telegraph and Telephone Companies


Telegraphic communication was first introduced to Newfoundland by Frederick N. Gisborne, an English engineer who was active in expanding telegraphy in Quebec and Nova Scotia. Gisborne felt that by extending the North American telegraph system to St. John's, trans-Atlantic steamers would be encouraged to stop at the port and drop off messages, which could be relayed by telegraph to North American newspapers more than 48 hours earlier than messages from steamers arriving at Halifax or New York. In September 1851, after leaving the Nova Scotia Telegraph Company, Gisborne appeared before the legislature in St. John's with a plan to construct a telegraph line between St. John's and Cape Ray that would eventually connect by submarine cable to the Nova Scotia telegraph system. The government approved Gisborne's plan and granted him 500 pounds to survey the route. In the same year he set up the St. John's and Carbonear Electric Telegraph Company to provide telegraph service between those towns, and the telegraph line went into service the following March. In the spring of 1852, the legislature passed an act incorporating the Newfoundland Electric Telegraph Company, giving it the right to build a telegraph line between St. John's and Cape Ray with branch lines to Trepassey and other locations. Gisborne organized the company in New York and began work on the line in the summer of 1853. The construction employed 350 men and started at Brigus, where the cable connected with the St. John's to Carbonear system. But after only 40 miles of construction, the project was halted when the Company became insolvent.

The dial telephones installed by the C.N.T. had proved to be a wonderful means of communication in 1960's.  190 telephones had been introduced in the Clarenville area with more on the waiting list.  One operator, Miss Sylvia Brushett, handles all daily long distance calls.  An operator at Gander took the calls during the night. 

From: Hub of the East Coast (1956)
Photograph & Information: Courtesy Geneva Cholock



In 1854, while in New York City, Gisborne met Cyrus W. Field qv, who saw the commercial potential of extending the Newfoundland line across the Atlantic to Europe. Field set up the New York, Newfoundland and London Telegraph Company (NYNLTC), and began work on the project. In March 1854, he met with Governor Hamilton and arranged for the NYNLTC to take over the bankrupt Newfoundland Electric Telegraph Company. The NYNLTC agreed to construct a telegraph line between St. John's and Cape Ray and, among other things, was granted a 50-year monopoly on the landing of telegraph cables. In August of 1855, Field attempted to install a submarine cable across the Cabot Strait, using the Sarah L. Bryant, a sailing vessel under tow by the James Adger, but when 40 miles from Cape Ray a storm came up and the cable had to be cut. The following year the steamship Propontis completed the task. The St. John's to Cape Ray telegraph line followed the south coast, allowing supplies to be delivered by ship and carried to construction sites. The project, employing 600 men, was completed in the fall of 1856. The first message was sent on October 1, 1856 to Baddeck, Cape Breton from St. John's merchant J.S. Pitts qv. In 1859 the Associated Press of New York stationed a boat at Cape Race to intercept trans-Atlantic steamers on their way to Halifax and New York. News and messages from Europe, thrown overboard from the steamers in water-tight canisters, were picked up and telegraphed to North American newspapers from the telegraph office at Cape Race. This practice continued up to the completion of the first successful trans-Atlantic cable in 1866 and was acknowledged in North American newspapers by the byline ``Via Cape Race''.

In 1866, the Anglo-American Telegraph Company (AAT) installed the first successful trans-Atlantic telegraph cable between Ireland and Heart's Content. Although AAT held the monopoly on the rights to build telegraph lines in Newfoundland, it was not interested in extending telegraph lines to the smaller towns and villages. In 1876, therefore, the government began to extend telegraphic service on its own, and by the end of the century had extended service to the major communities. In 1902 the government installed new cable on the pole line between Whitbourne and Port-aux-Basques, and, after AAT's monopoly expired, extended it from Whitbourne to St. John's. Two years later the government installed a submarine cable across the Cabot Strait from Port aux Basques to Canso, Nova Scotia, where it connected with the Commercial Cable Company telegraph system. And by 1904 the government had installed a number of High Frequency (HF) radio telegraph stations in Labrador: at Battle Harbour, Venison Island, Seal Islands, Domino and Smokey.

TELEGRAPH COMPANIES:

ANGLO-AMERICAN TELEGRAPH COMPANY (AAT). The Anglo-American Telegraph Company was founded by Cyrus Field in 1866, and installed the first successful trans-Atlantic cable later that year. The company had previously amalgamated with the Atlantic Telegraph Co., which was unsuccessful in earlier attempts to span the Atlantic (see CABLE, ATLANTIC). In 1873 AAT amalgamated with the New York, Newfoundland and London Telegraph Company, and obtained the latter's 50-year monopoly on landing cables in Newfoundland. In addition to the 1865 and 1866 cables, AAT installed other trans-Atlantic cables at Heart's Content in 1873, 1874, 1880 and 1894. In 1873 the Company built a land line from Heart's Content to Placentia, which connected via a new submarine cable with St. Pierre and Nova Scotia where in turn it connected with the Western Union system. In 1875 the Company commissioned a permanent cable station building in Heart's Content, which was constructed by J. & J. Southcott of St. John's. The original wood-frame building, which had been given to the employees as a recreation complex, was demolished in 1955. With advances in technology, AAT's Heart's Content station became obsolete and was closed on June 30, 1966, almost 100 years to the day after the first successful cable was laid.

DIRECT UNITED STATES TELEGRAPH COMPANY (DUSTC). This company placed its first trans-Atlantic cable in 1874. The cable ship Faraday laid the cable to within a few miles of the head of Trinity Bay, where it attached the end of the cable to a buoy while the Company challenged in Newfoundland courts AAT's monopoly on landing telegraphic cables in Newfoundland. After failing to obtain the right to land its cable, the Company by-passed Newfoundland and terminated its cable at Tor Bay, just south of Halifax. After AAT's monopoly expired, DUSTC in 1910 set up an office at Harbour Grace, to which it diverted its cable from Nova Scotia which was originally installed in 1874. By terminating its cable in Newfoundland rather than Nova Scotia, the speed of transmission was doubled because of the shorter trans-Atlantic distance, allowing the company to carry twice the number of messages. DUSTC was bought by the British government in 1921 and became the Imperial and International Communications Company. In 1935 that company changed its name to Cable and Wireless Limited. The Harbour Grace station, with a staff of approximately a dozen employees, operated only one cable, and was closed in 1953.

COMMERCIAL CABLE COMPANY. In 1884 the Commercial Cable Company installed two cables between Canso, Nova Scotia and Waterville, Ireland. It diverted the first of these cables to Cuckold's Cove qv near St. John's in 1909, directly connecting Cuckold's Cove with Canso and Ireland. The Cuckold's Cove office operated as a relay station for messages between Europe and America until 1916, when the Company moved to a new office at 111 Water Street. After AAT's monopoly expired, the Commercial Cable Company challenged in the courts the Newfoundland government's decision to levy an annual tax of $4000 per cable landing, which it refused to pay. In 1917 the government, therefore, gave notice that it would terminate all contracts with the Commercial Cable Company within six months. After the government won the case, it and the Company reached an agreement in 1922 allowing the company to transmit and receive local telegraph messages to and from Newfoundland.

In 1926 the Company landed two trans-Atlantic cables at Quidi Vidi. The cables from Cuckold's Cove and Quidi Vidi were extended to the east end of Quidi Vidi Lake, continued along the bottom of the Lake to the western end and were trenched to the Company's office at 111 Water Street. After World War II the Company employed about 50 operators. Because of dwindling business brought about by the increasing use of the telephone the Commercial Cable Company ceased operation in 1961.

WESTERN UNION TELEGRAPH COMPANY. Western Union set up a cable station at Bay Roberts in 1910, to which it diverted its Coney Island/Penzance cable. In 1912 Western Union obtained 50-year operating leases on the cables owned by AAT and the Direct United States Telegraph Company, giving it effective control of those companies (although each continued to operate under its original name). The Company installed a new cable from North Sydney to Colinet, St. Mary's Bay in 1913, and from there the cable was trenched to the Bay Roberts station. The first Bay Roberts station was a wooden structure, which served the Company until a large brick building was built on Water Street at the end of World War I. The Company also built a large staff house and attractive homes for its senior staff next to the building on Cable Avenue. By 1921 Western Union had installed two additional cables between Heart's Content and North Sydney, which were the first multi-conductor cables to be landed in Newfoundland. In 1926 the Company installed, via Bay Roberts, a cable from Hammel, U.S.A. to Penzance, Cornwall, which was followed by one from Bay Roberts to Horta in the Azores. More than 100 people were employed at the station at the height of its activity, but it closed down in 1960.

CANADIAN OVERSEAS TELECOMMUNICATIONS CORPORATION (COTC). This company was established by the Canadian government in 1950 to acquire the Canadian assets of Cable and Wireless Limited and certain assets of the Canadian Marconi Company. COTC participated in the installation of the first trans-Atlantic telephone cable, which began on June 22, 1955 when the cable ship Monarch left Clarenville for Oban, Scotland paying out the TAT-1 cable. The cable went into service the following year. The $42 million venture was financed by the American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T), the British Post Office and COTC. TAT-1, which had a capacity of 36 voice circuits, was extended overland to Terrenceville and by submarine cable to Sydney Mines in Nova Scotia, and remained in service until 1978. In 1959 the TAT-2 trans-Atlantic telephone cable system was installed, providing 48 circuits. The Clarenville station, where these cables terminated, was managed by the Eastern Telephone and Telegraph Company (a subsidiary of the American Telephone and Telegraph Company), and remained in service until the TAT-2 cable was retired in 1982.

In 1961 COTC participated in the installation of the 80-circuit CANTAT-1 cable, between Oban, Scotland and Hampden, White Bay, connecting via Deer Lake to Wild Cove, near Corner Brook, and from there via COTC's submarine cable to Gross Roche, Quebec. In 1974, CANTAT-2, a 1.47 inch co-axial cable carrying up to 1840 voice circuits, was installed between Widemouth, England and Beaver Harbour, Nova Scotia. The vastly increased circuit capacity of this cable rendered CANTAT-1 obsolete, and it was taken out of service. As a result, COTC's Deer Lake cable station closed down in 1975, followed shortly afterwards by the Corner Brook station. In 1975 COTC changed its name to Teleglobe Canada.

DEPARTMENT OF POSTS AND TELEGRAPHS. In 1905, after AAT's monopoly on telegraph services expired, the government set up Newfoundland Postal Telegraphs, a section of the Department of Posts and Telegraphs (DPT), to consolidate postal, telegraph and telephone operations. Earlier, in 1901, Reid Newfoundland Company transferred its telegraph assets to the government and agreed to operate the telegraph system for an annual subsidy of $10,000 until AAT's monopoly expired.

Over one million telegrams were sent and received by the DPT in 1929. More than 10,000 of these were sent by the Post Office as public service messages, including messages regarding weather, shipping and fishing information. In 1930 the DPT installed a small telephone exchange at Abraham's Cove on the Port au Port Peninsula to serve subscribers in the area. By the end of 1930 it operated 246 telegraph offices and 170 telephone stations serving 347 communities. Of the 246 telegraph offices, 55 were wireless stations. Eleven of them served the coast of Labrador. DPT's first major telephone system was installed, at the request of the British Air Ministry, between Gander airport and the Botwood seaplane base in 1937.

During World War II the United States Military came to an agreement with the railway to use its poles to connect its Newfoundland bases with each other and with bases in the United States. The United States forces contracted with Bell Telephone Company of Canada to build the system, which sent more than 300 employees and hired over 700 Newfoundlanders to work on the project. Construction began in April 1942 and was completed in less than a year. The Canadian Armed Forces also built a system over the government's pole line, which connected to the Canadian mainland at Cape North, Cape Breton via a new Very High Frequency radio system installed at the top of Table Mountain. In 1946 the DPT took over the RCAF manual telephone exchange in Gander as well as the pole system between St. John's and Gander. It also took over the U.S. Military system, which it used to provide long distance telephone service to the communities along the line. The DPT operated its telegraph and telephone system until Confederation, when Canadian National Telecommunications assumed responsibility for its operations.
 

TELEPHONE COMPANIES:

The first telephones in Newfoundland were installed in March 1878 by St. John's postmaster John Delaney qv. Delaney constructed two telephones from a description in the March 31, 1877 edition of Scientific American, and set up a telephone line between his home at 2 Monkstown Road and the home of John Higgins, a post office messenger at 48 Southwest Street. The telephone sets were connected by a line that was normally used for post office business. There is no further evidence of telephone use in Newfoundland until 1884, when a line was set up in St. John's between Archibald's Furniture Store, at the junction of Duckworth Street and St. John's Lane, and the residence of its manager on Devon Row.

In 1885 AAT set up the first public telephone system in Newfoundland, using a switchboard on the second floor of a building above John Lindberg's jewellery store at 171 Water Street. After the exchange was destroyed in the fire of 1892, AAT established a new exchange at 276 New Gower Street, above James Black's drygoods store. AAT sold its telephone system to Western Union in 1899. In the early to mid-1900s many of Newfoundland's larger companies operated their own telephone exchanges: the American Smelting and Refining Company (ASARCO) in Buchans and Millertown; the Anglo-Newfoundland Development Company in Grand Falls, Bishop's Falls and Botwood; the Dominion Steel and Coal Corporation on Bell Island; and Bowater's in Corner Brook. The United Towns Electric Company also had an extensive telephone system with several exchanges on the Avalon and Burin peninsulas and Bell Telephone Company of Canada operated several exchanges in Labrador. The Twillingate Telephone and Electric Company, which was set up in 1913 by a group of citizens, provided telephone service to Twillingate. The provision of telephone service to other communities was the responsibility of Avalon Telephone Company and the Department of Posts and Telegraphs.

AVALON/NEWFOUNDLAND TELEPHONE COMPANY. The Avalon Telephone Company was formed in 1919 by John J. Murphy qv, his son Robert J. Murphy qv and J.D. Cameron. Shortly thereafter Avalon Telephone purchased Western Union's telephone system in St. John's, where approximately 800 subscribers were served from an exchange on New Gower Street. The Company installed a new 7000-line exchange at 348 Duckworth Street in St. John's in 1921. Telephone rates at the time were $30 a year for a residence phone and $40 for a business phone. Also in 1921, the Company's first long distance line was installed between St. John's and Carbonear, and on November 27 the first long distance calls were placed from St. John's to Brigus and Harbour Grace. In that year a telephone line along the Southern Shore to Cape Race was also constructed.

When John Murphy died in 1938 he was succeeded as president of Avalon Telephone by his son Robert. In 1937 the Company installed High Frequency (HF) radio facilities to provide telephone circuits from St. John's to the Burin Peninsula, Grand Falls and Corner Brook areas. On January 10, 1939 long distance calling between Newfoundland and Canada was inaugurated with a call between Sir Humphrey Walwyn, the Governor of Newfoundland, and Lord Tweedsmuir, the Governor General of Canada in Ottawa. Following the inaugural ceremony, the new HF system was used to place the first overseas telephone call between St. John's and London. The circuit to Canada was over an HF radio system owned by Canadian Marconi and was the only telephone link between Newfoundland and Canada until after Confederation. At the time, the rate for a three minute call from St. John's to Montreal was $7.50 and to London $22.20.

In 1948 Avalon Telephone took over and replaced the 25-year-old telephone system that had been operated in Corner Brook by Bowater's. It opened a new five-storey administration centre at 343 Duckworth Street in St. John's in 1948, and introduced Newfoundland's first dial service in St. John's. Telephone service between St. John's and Port aux Basques was established in 1949, allowing communities along the line to telephone from one end of Newfoundland to the other for the first time. In 1951 the Company acquired Anglo Newfoundland Development Company's telephone exchanges in Grand Falls, Botwood and Bishops Falls. By the end of 1952 Avalon Telephone had 23,509 telephones in service, of which 16,217 were in St. John's, 2890 on the rest of the Avalon Peninsula, and 4402 on the west coast and in Grand Falls. Control of the Company was acquired by a group of Newfoundland and Montreal investors in 1954. Robert Murphy resigned as president and was succeeded by Sidney H. Morris. On December 16, 1955, Mayor Harry Mews of St. John's opened a new 10,000-line exchange at a new building on Anderson Avenue. Avalon Telephone became a member of the Trans-Canada Telephone System in 1957, a consortium of the major telephone companies in Canada that co ordinated long distance telephone traffic among the member companies. In 1958 Avalon Telephone installed its first microwave system, linking St. John's with Bell Island and Bay Roberts via a repeater station on Kenmount Hill. The company added 1200 telephones to its network when it purchased United Towns Electric Company's operations on the Burin Peninsula in 1962.

Also in 1962 Bell Telephone Company of Canada purchased Avalon Telephone. George C. Wallace, a senior manager from Bell Telephone, was appointed to the position of president and managing director. He was succeeded in July 1965, by Gunder Osberg, another Bell Telephone employee. In 1966, the Company installed a new 20,000-line switching machine in its new Allandale Road building in St. John's. Coincident with this installation, touchtone telephone service was introduced to St. John's subscribers for the first time. In 1970 Avalon Telephone changed its name to Newfoundland Telephone Company Limited, and Osberg was replaced by Anthony A. Brait, a senior manager with Bell Canada, who had earlier worked with Avalon Telephone as its Chief Engineer. In that year the Company began the implementation of Direct Distance Dialling (DDD) and the following year the last magneto offices at Western Bay and Old Perlican were retired.

In 1974 the Company's first computer-controlled stored program electronic switch was installed in Corner Brook, and was followed by similar installations in St. John's, Mount Pearl and Grand Falls; and it purchased Bell Canada's assets in Labrador. The following year it installed a new microwave system between Goose Bay, Hopedale and Nain. In 1977, a light route microwave system was installed between L'Anse au Loup and Charlottetown for the provision of long distance telephone service; and a 400-mile microwave system was installed between L'Anse au Loup and Goose Bay which connected to the Corner Brook microwave system, providing a direct telephone link into Newfoundland Telephone's DDD network.

In 1978 the Company completed its first trans-island microwave system, which extended from St. John's, via Grand Falls and Corner Brook, to Sydney, Nova Scotia. The new microwave facility provided 1200 voice circuits and also allowed Newfoundland Telephone to carry television signals into and out of the Province for the first time. Also in 1978, Newfoundland Telephone entered into an agreement with Eastern Telephone and Telegraph Company (ET&T), a subsidiary of the American Telephone and Telegraph Company, for the purchase of its assets in Clarenville. (ET&T's main function was the management of AT&T's trans-Atlantic telephone cable which came ashore in Clarenville. Newfoundland Telephone took over this responsibility until the cable was taken out of service in 1982). In 1979 Newfoundland Telephone also acquired the Labrador City telephone assets of the Iron Ore Company of Canada, adding 6500 telephones to its network. It was also in 1979 that digital technology was introduced, with the installation of a digital switch in Nain, followed in 1980 by a digital switch in Corner Brook. Practically all future exchanges were to use digital technology. In 1983 Telesat Canada and Newfoundland Telephone completed a satellite earth station on Kenmount Road, St. John's as part of a Canada-wide video conferencing system. The station was connected to the Allandale Road building via the Company's first optical fibre link. (Telesat Canada had built a transmit and receive satellite station at Bay Bulls in 1973, and a satellite station on the Port au Port Peninsula in 1975 to receive French language television). With the completion of the Company's trans-Labrador microwave system to Wabush and Labrador City in 1983, the last troposcatter system in Labrador was decommissioned. The troposcatter systems, which used 60- to 120-foot-high antennas to bounce radio signals off the troposphere, had been installed in the early 1950s and were originally part of the ballistic missile early warning system built by the United States.

In 1985 Newfoundland Telephone became a wholly-owned subsidiary of NewTel Enterprises Limited, a subsidiary of Bell Canada Enterprises. The next year a $23 million digital microwave system between St. John's and Port aux Basques was completed, and in 1990 was extended from Corner Brook to Mount St. Margaret. Newfoundland Telephone acquired Terra Nova Telecommunications in 1988, making it the only company providing telephone service in the Province. In 1990 Anthony Brait was succeeded as president and chief executive officer by Vincent G. Withers.

Cellular telephone service was introduced to Newfoundland in July 1990, when both Newfoundland Telephone and Rogers Cantel Communications (Cantel) set up networks in the St. John's area. Both companies expanded their networks to cover the Trans-Canada Highway to Clarenville, while Newfoundland Telephone also expanded its network to the Gander and Corner Brook areas. In 1993 Newfoundland Telephone transferred its cellular division to NewTel Mobility Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of NewTel Enterprises. Newfoundland Telephone began the installation of a $57 million optical fibre cable system between Sydney and St. John's in 1991. The submarine portion of the cable across the Cabot Strait and the underground portion to Corner Brook were completed in 1991. The cable was extended to Clarenville in 1992, and to St. John's in 1993.

CANADIAN NATIONAL/TERRA NOVA TELECOMMUNICATIONS. After Confederation responsibility for the telegraph and telephone operations of the Department of Posts and Telegraphs was transferred to the Canadian government, through Canadian National Railways. The communications arm of Canadian National Railways was Canadian National Telecommunications (CNT), which was given responsibility for the operation of the system. CNT served the 932 telephone subscribers who were scattered throughout the remote areas of the Province. CNT's first superintendent in Newfoundland was H.J. Clarke, who had been an employee of the Department of Posts and Telegraphs. After taking over the Department's off-island submarine cable system, in 1950 CNT installed a modern 12-channel radio system across the Cabot Strait between Red Rocks (near Port aux Basques) and Sydney, Nova Scotia; and also rebuilt the pole line to St. John's. In 1950 it purchased the operations of Western Union in Newfoundland, making it responsible for all telegraph business in the Province. In 1951 CNT took over the telephone operations of the Twillingate Telephone and Electric Company, and installed a new dial exchange. During the 1950s it installed automatic dial telephone exchanges in many major towns and also purchased the telephone system at Buchans from ASARCO Mines. During this period, CNT also extended its telegraph network, providing service to Musgrave Harbour, Badger's Quay, Wesleyville, LaScie, Tilt Cove and Catalina. Allan C. Jerrett became Superintendent of CNT's operations in Newfoundland in 1955.

In 1957, CNT consolidated its St. John's operations in a new building on Water Street. In 1959, CNT completed the construction of a high capacity microwave radio system between St. John's and Sydney, Nova Scotia, which provided high quality telephone circuits off the Island and also allowed television signals from mainland Canada to be brought to Newfoundland for the first time. Despite the inroads made by telephone communications, telegraphy was still important; in 1963 CNT handled more than 650,000 messages. But telephone service was rapidly replacing telegraphy. In 1967 Joseph Donich, who had previously served CNT in Newfoundland, succeeded Allan Jerrett. At the time, CNT operated 82 exchanges, of which 67 had fewer than 100 subscribers. That year CNT completed the construction of a 200-mile microwave system between Corner Brook and St. Anthony, which was connected in 1971 at Mount St. Margaret to L'Anse au Loup and linked with Bell Canada's telephone system in Labrador. A 300-circuit microwave system was installed between Corner Brook and Stephenville in that year.

In 1979 Canadian National Railways established Terra Nova Telecommunications Inc. (Terra Nova Tel) to take over CNT's assets in Newfoundland, with headquarters established in Gander the next year. Jack Gosse, who succeeded Joseph Donich in the late 1960s as CNT's superintendent in Newfoundland, headed the new company. In 1981 he was succeeded as general manager by Robert Symonds.

In the 1980s Terra Nova Tel installed many digital switches throughout the Province, the most significant being a digital exchange in Gander in 1985 that replaced the electromechanical switch that had served the town for 20 years. In 1987 Terra Nova Tel completed a five-year improvement program, which provided subscribers with 100% Direct Distance Dialing and 99% single-party service. At the time the company was serving more than 50,000 subscribers in over 400 communities throughout the Province. In 1988 Terra Nova Tel was purchased by Newfoundland Telephone.

UNITEL. After Confederation, the Newfoundland government set up the Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities to regulate rate changes and other operations of the provincially incorporated telephone companies. But in 1989 a decision of the Supreme Court of Canada brought Newfoundland Telephone -- and several other Canadian telephone companies -- under the regulatory jurisdiction of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). In 1992, after a lengthy public proceeding, the CRTC determined that other telecommunications carriers could compete with Canadian telephone companies for the public long distance business.

In early 1991 Unitel Communications Inc. (Unitel), one of the parties which initiated the action leading to that decision, entered into an arrangement with Fortis Properties Corporation to provide communications services in Newfoundland. These companies set up Unitel Newfoundland, which constructed a new digital microwave system from St. John's to Nova Scotia, connecting into Unitel's national microwave system in Cape Breton. Unitel began to provide long distance telephone service in Newfoundland in July 1993. H. Clayton (1968), Robert Collins (1977), Donard de Cogan (NQ, 1992), B. Dibner (1953), H.M. Field (1866), Jack Hambling (1992), Lawford and Nicholson (1950), Ed Ogle (1979), Paul O'Neill (1975), D.W. Prowse (1895), F.W. Rowe (1980), Melvin Rowe (1972), Avalon Telephone Company Annual Report (1951-1969), Newfoundland Telephone Company Annual Report (1970-1993), Report of the Department of Posts and Telegraphs (1918; 1925; 1928-1930), Terra Nova Telecommunications Annual Report (1980-1988).
 
 Author:
Don Tarrant     


The first transatlantic telephone cable  between Clarenville, Newfoundland and Oban was inaugurated on 25 September 1956. It was designed to link both the United States and Canada to the U.K., with facilities for links to other European countries. It provided 30 telephone circuits to America and 6 to Canada, as well as a number of telegraph circuits to Canada. 

E.C.C. designed and manufactured the power equipment for the Oban terminal station, as is mentioned in the advert on the right.

From: The Electric Construction Company