Virtual Museum Canada

Sir SandFord Fleming - The Knight Of Time

A wide area of action

Connecting the empire

The cable… would bring Great Britain, Canada, India, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, indeed all the outer Provinces and the colonial possessions of Great Britain in unbroken telegraphic communication with each other, in entire independance of the lines which pass through foreign European countries.

Newspaper article
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Connecting the entire British Empire by telegraphic cable: one more of Sandford Fleming’s pioneering visions! Fleming was deeply convinced of the importance of direct telegraphic communication between the imperial colonies scattered all over the world.

Telegraph key
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Using every available platform, he promoted his project tirelessly for nearly 20 years. A part of his dream was finally carried out in 1902 when Vancouver Island was connected to New Zealand and Australia by underwater cable.

Exchange of cablegrams
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At last, the almost instantaneous overseas communications that Fleming had so ardently desired were achieved. The impact of his cable project was somewhat lessened by the development of the telephone. However, it remained a major technological advance.

There is no doubt that today’s Internet and electronic chat rooms would have delighted Fleming.