THE FIRST structurally practicable submarine telegraph cable was manufactured in about 1850, and for the following 100 years the basic submarine cable design remained unchanged. In the 1950's, the development of new submarine cable of armourless design and using modern materials was begun, and this is now in widespread use in new cables. The lack of information on cable performance led to the initiation of a submarine cable recovery programme by the Bell Telephone Laboratories, with the object of investigating the effect of submarine exposure on existing ocean cable materials. Specimens are obtained from cables in service, taken whenever repairs or replacement require that a cable is raised. Since submarine telegraph cables have been in use for over 100 years, the systematic examination of such specimens gives an invaluable source of information on the performance of materials and the effect of environment.
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