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1938 - sea plow designed to bury underwater telephone cable below the ocean floor


CD 2055060 E&MP5.032

Cables, Transatlantic

August 1967
[see inventor's comment below]

A sea plow designed by Bell Telephone Laboratories to bury underwater telephone cable below the ocean floor is lifted from the sea by a crane aboard the John Cabot, a Canadian cable repair ship and icebreaker.

The plow was used by the American Telephone and Telegraph Company’s Long Lines Department to bury the shore-end sections of two transatlantic cables off the coast of New Jersey. 

Original Caption by Science Service
©Bell Telephone

Inventor Comments 5.11.2000

Re: CD 2055060 E&MP5.032, (http://scienceservice.si.edu/pages/005032.htm) This is an interesting Web page but the date of Sept. 1938 is completely incorrect. The actual date of completion of buryial of the shore ends of TAT-3 (TransAtlantic Telephone cable 3) and TAT-4 with Sea Plow I was August of 1967, not September 1938.

The reason that I know that is that I am the inventor of the plow (with two expired patents dated 1965) and I am one of the individuals standing on the after deck of the John Cabot in the picture.

I ... can provide patent numbers and exact dates for that information ... after May 24th. Thanks to my son for locating this information for me!

Best regards, John Maclay

We hope to gather valid information to cross reference our material. However, we cannot change the existing Science Service caption, though we can include corrections, comments and sources for expanding the information on our image presentation

Thank You!
Science Service Historical Image Collection Webmaster

National Museum of American History


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