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Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Left: Length of armoured coaxial submarine cable, recovered from sea bed kinked and damaged, unknown maker, 1880-1980.
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Lucas grapnel, designed by F R Lucas and manufactured by the Telegraph Construction and Maintenance Company Limited, British, 1888-1960.

This grapnel was used to raise cables from the seabed in order to carry out repairs. It used a mechanical pulley system to grip the cable so that it could be pulled up to the surface. Deep sea cables were repaired by cutting the cable on either side of the fault, then bringing the two ends to the surface, where a new portion of cable could be added to close the gap. It was designed by F R Lucas, who patented it in 1888, and was first used in 1891 to make repairs to the cable that connected Lisbon and Madeira.

On display

Science Museum: Information Age Gallery: Cable

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Details

Category:
Telecommunications
Object Number:
1974-213
Measurements:
overall (jaws open & cable extended)): 2820 mm x 1060 mm x 450 mm,
overall (jaws closed): 1310 mm x 450 mm x 450 mm, 285 kg
type:
grapnel
taxonomy:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
credit:
Donated by STC plc
status:
Permanent collection

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