• A Tour of the French Cable Station

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    French Cable Station
    This station when it was in operation was the American termination point for a telegraph cable that came directly to Orleans from France. It was called "Le Direct" the direct cable. It was installed in 1898 and was almost 3200 miles long.
    French Cable Station

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    Free guided tours are available of an historic collection of original Atlantic undersea telegraphic cables, instruments, maps, and assorted memorabilia.

    The station is part of American History. During World War I, General Pershing in France communicated with the US Government through this cable station.

    In 1927 the message that Charles Lindbergh had landed in Paris came through this station from Paris. It was then sent to the rest of the United States.

    Come and see history. We’re located at 41 South Orleans Road in Orleans.

    This office is essentially as it was through the years. Look around and you will see the walls are covered with a few photos and news articles of major events in the history of the station. Some of these were given to the museum by the Smithsonian Institute. By the superintendents desk is an early copy machine (non photographic). Every letter written was copied before being sent.

    This room contains equipment that was used to determine the location of a fault or break in the cable. Some of the equipment is still operational and can be demonstrated. Also in this room is one of the most unique instruments in the world. It is the Heurtley Magnifier used to amplify the weak signal coming from France. It was developed before there were vacuum tubes. There are only three in existence in the world today.

    This is the room that held the equipment used to repair the cable and equipment. In this room are found samples of the early submarine telegraph cable and cables that have been under the sea for decades. On the walls are photos of a repair operation at sea. In a sealed glass cabinet in the hall are many interesting items including an original Tiffany and Co. Wooden box containing a sample of the 1858 cable. Cyrus Field had sold the cable to Tiffany immediately after the success of the first transatlantic cable in 1858.

    This was the heart of the cable station. This was where the messages from France were received, recorded, and retransmitted to rest of the country. Most of the equipment still functions and can be demonstrated.

    In this room is a portion of the “Artificial Cable” or “Balancer” which enabled duplex (Two directions at once over a single cable) operation of the cable in an extremely clever manner.

    The museum is free to all visitors. Donations are welcome to help defray the cost of running the museum. It’s located at 41 South Orleans Road. For more information, please click here. For more information, please click here.

    Hours of operation
    Thursday through Sunday 1 PM to 4 PM

    Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 1 PM to 4 PM

    May 20, 2014