Telling the little-known story of Sir John Pender, whose pioneering vision to connect the world changed the way we communicate forever
John Pender was born in 1816 to an ordinary working family in Scotland, and later made his fortune as a textile merchant. He and his wife Emma Denison-Pender were among the first people to recognize the potential of undersea cable telegraphy, and Pender invested his considerable business skill and large amounts of money in their vision to create a worldwide submarine cable system. In 1870 Pender hosted a huge reception in London to celebrate the completion of Porthcurno’s Anglo-India cable. The first message he sent to India was ‘How are you?’. The reply ‘All well’ took just five minutes to arrive.