Updated February 2009


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Transatlantic cables and the Commercial Cable Company - CIAL


Visitors since 11/2/2003
This is www.cial.org.uk - CIAL was the Commercial Cable Company's own telegraph code.


Waterville Cable Station Exhibition

Uncover the history of the Commercial Cable Company’s Trans-Atlantic European terminus from its early days in the 1880’s right through to the 1960’s. With cables to England, the Azores, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Le Havre, Waterville was home to one of the largest cable stations in the world!

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This site started out as a Weston-super-Mare (UK) local history resource but as the subject, the Commercial Cable Company, was actually a world-wide cable operator the scope has expanded greatly. The focus of this site remains the West of England and Ireland.

Local (Weston-super-Mare) history books show some photographs of cables being brought ashore. They mention the guarding of cables in the two wars and their importance at that time. One (The Sea-Board of Mendip 1902) suggests that the Weston cables were particularly reliable as they enjoyed a more stable link with London than the Cornwall - based cables but that might be local pride!

Commercial Cable Company flag
I have tried to acknowledge all my sources for all this information. Please contact me if you feel I have published something of yours I shouldn't !
This site has been much enhanced by the inclusion of material from North Somerset Museum which is shown with their kind permission. (Click here to browse the full archive.) This material is copyright and I have marked it as such. I have also been updated with information from past employees who have emailed through the site and Dr Donard de Cogan C.Eng., FIEE of the School of Information Systems University of East Anglia who is a real expert on the history of these type of cables.
I am grateful for the assistance of the family of George White (1904 - 2006), the last General Manager in the UK. I have built an archive of the material they have lent me as well as updating the site with information from that archive.
Bill McLaughlin has submitted some very useful information which is now included in the site. Bill grew up in Roslyn, New York. This is the town in which Clarence H. Mackay, who took over the presidency of Commercial Cable from his father, had a beautiful 600 acre country estate until his death in 1938.

In 2005 and 2006, many more ex-employees have submitted information / reminiscences and photographs and some of these appear in the main site. In addition there is now a WIKI (what is a WIKI?) with many more pages of in-depth information about CCC submitted by others.

This site is now closed to further submissions and the wiki is available to read but no longer for update.


North Somerset Museum cable archive
White family archive
My own archive
Pictures from the 50s and 60s and much more in the WIKI

Search here to find information about telegraph cables and companies in this and other closely related sites.
Search here to search this site only - or the Web.
Web www.cial.org.uk
Navigating this site
If you are looking for specific information then use the search facility above or go to the Page Index. If you wish to follow the story of the Commercial Cable Company then chose one of these routes, which have continuing links at the top and bottom of each page:
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John Crellin

John Crellin 2016