We sometimes take for granted the fact that we can instantly talk to people halfway around the world. The internet can bridge thousands of miles — but it wasn’t always this way. In the days before the internet, massive undersea cables were needed to send electrical signals across the Atlantic Ocean. The first of these cables was laid by a man named Cyrus West Field, whose forward-thinking innovation helped build the world we live in today. This is his story, and the story of how we united the world with a single wire.
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