To Wire the World: Perry M. Collins and the North Pacific Telegraph Expedition


In the 1850s, American entrepreneur Perry M. Collins envisioned a world connected by an overland telegraph line. Western Union shared his vision, and, with Russia and England willing to be partners in the venture, it seemed possible to complete the massive undertaking. This is the story of how Collins helped to deploy a "telegraph army" to British Columbia, modern day Alaska, and Siberia. Supported by a "telegraph navy," these men surveyed, explored, and operated in dangerous--sometimes even life-threatening--environments to build the line from 1865 to 1867, only to have their attempts made obsolete by completion of the Atlantic cable in 1866.

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