GREENE — Before the mid-1800s, the only way news could travel from North America to Europe was by ship. That all changed when the first transatlantic telegraph cable was laid.

The project, led by Cyrus West Field, was one of the greatest technological achievements of the 19th century. It took unbelievable courage and persistence, struggling against overwhelming obstacles: failed attempts, millions of dollars lost, technological problems, ridicule, suspected sabotage and more.

Map depicting the route of the transatlantic cable. (Photo courtesy of Mary Morton Cowan)


Award-winning author, Mary Morton Cowan, will present a slideshow based on her biography on Field, “Cyrus Field’s Big Dream: The Daring Effort to Lay the First Transatlantic Telegraph Cable.” This true story changed communications for humanity and the world forever.

Shows will be at 2 and 7 p.m. Friday, May 10, at the Araxine Wilkins Sawyer Memorial, 371 Sawyer Road. This event is free and open to the public.

For more information, call 207-946-5311, visit or

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