Following the success of the undersea telegraph cable linking Porthcurno to Bombay (Mumbai) in 1870, it was not long before a network of telegraph cables were laid around the world. Just ten years later, there was almost 100,000 miles of undersea telegraph cable. Along this network, telegraph and relay stations sprung up around the globe.
The collections held at the Museum of Global Communications contain archive material and objects from around the world, reflecting the global nature of the industry. The PK Online Collection (PKOC) provides a World Map that allows users to explore the items we have connected with a particular place.
The World Map shows pin drops (which represent a single location) and circles (representing more than one location). Users can easily move around the map by ‘grabbing’ it with the cursor. By selecting a location on the map, all the items we hold related to that place will appear as a list below the map. The list could include anything from photographs, letters, and diaries to business records, objects, and stamps, ranging in date from the late 1800s to the 1990s.
For those researching their family history, the PKOC World Map has proved an invaluable tool. Staff records of those who worked for the early telegraph companies list the places where they were stationed during their career. The PKOC World Map allows users to easily discover more information about each of these stations, creating a better picture of the life of their relative.
Below are some of the items listed when ‘Ascension Island’ is selected on the PKOC World Map.