Submarine Cables – Maps 1901 + 1991 worldwide / Hong Kong networks

HF: Bill Burns runs a fascinating and detailed website about the history of submarine communication cables (linked at the end of this article).

He has kindly sent four maps related to the worldwide network of such cables in 1901 and 1991. Two of the maps are centred on Hong Kong.

The first is a 1901 World Map of “Grandes Communications Telegraphiques”.

Click to magnify

Cable telegraph Map 1901-Berne-Map-BPL-Leventhal-CC from Bill Burns

The second shows an extract from the same map and centred on Hong Kong. In 1901 HK was directly linked by submarine cable to seven places: Macao, Canton, Amoy, Foochow, Manila, Labuan (an island off the northern coast of Borneo) and Saigon. And of course from those places on to numerous other places worldwide.

Cable telegraph Map 1901- HK centred -Berne-Map-BPL-Leventhal-CC from Bill Burns

The third map also from 1901 shows the “Eastern Telegraph Company System and its General Connections”.

Cable 1901EasternTelegraph-WR from Bill Burns

Finally Bill has sent a 1991 Hongkong Telecom map, centred on Hong Kong and showing the “Cable & Wireless Digital Highway”

Cable 1991-HongKong HK Telecom mapSee:

  1. Bill Burns’ website
  2. An, I think, undated but recent PCCW map – PCCW Global Infrastructure Map

This article was first posted on 16th August 2014.

Related Indhhk articles:

  1. Eastern Extension Telegraph Company – linking HK to the world
  2. Telegraph Bay, HK Island – location of the first submarine telegraphic cable into Hong Kong, 1871
  3. Cable ship in HK harbour 1960s – information needed.
  4. The Gutta Percha Company – link to Eastern Extension Telegraph Company and Hong Kong

One comment

  • knoxploration

    This has been a topic of discussion on Gwulo lately. We’ve found record of cables laid in 1871 by Det Store Nordiske Telegrafselskab and Eastern Extension, Australasia & China Telegraph Company, and a note that their cables were transferred to Central on government telegraph poles. We also found a lease on a piece of land in Telegraph Bay signed in 1910 among the records of Cable & Wireless, and also a building of indeterminate age which still exists, and was a cable hut for one of the companies using Telegraph Bay:

    I’ll cross-reference that page to this one, as well.

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