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The best understanding of America began or so it seems to us with the realisation that this nation is young yet. That she's still new and unfinished. That even. America is mind's greatest adventure and time. And space. The University of North Carolina grad and aid from the National Association of educational broadcasters made possible by the fund for adult education and independent agency of the Ford Foundation prisons American Adventure a study of mine in the New World. Written by Johnny Lee directed by John Clayton. Today's recorded program presents Fred Young and the resolute. Like 20 30 to 65 the British line or Great Eastern late with
steam up engines silent off the length of Ireland in her hold she carried seven thousand tonnes of submarine telegraph cable and a full supply of coal and food for her long strange voyage to Newfoundland. The meat supply was of course largely alive but there was hardly a sound from the five hundred chickens ten bullocks one milk cow one hundred fourteen sheep twenty pigs twenty nine geese and fourteen turkeys. Even the animals seemed to have taken on the pension held by the crewman who stood without speaking and watched tensely waited nervously for the beginning of the vast enterprise. The laying of the Atlantic cable. Only one man moved confidently. A man with a beard. Stepped out of the Means a lot of fifty happens a care in the world. Coffee too cold but it was a fabric first step. Coffee was steam in the field. Good morning same. Morning.
That. He was well known this man. Internationally famous. For his failures. One of the most dedicated salesmen of all time. Cyrus the Great Cyrus. The American. Siren St.. We got the cable spliced to the shore and you missed a few. I think so Captain Anderson. Will. Anything you want to say before we begin laying the cable again. No thank you. No speeches for me I'd never say you were all things could hardly be better planned than they are Captain Cable has been repeatedly checked machineries is good writing a letter to say a word of prayer before we start. I've prayed about this so much Captain that I have no herrings in the mystery so I was feeling would now lead us in a word of prayer. Here we are floating out on the ocean once more. Trying to do
something which many reasonable men we say cannot be done. And looking to you for help in doing it. Now. Captain Anderson and I have come to you concerning this Atlantic cable before. And you didn't see fit to favor us then. And with a look to ourselves to see what the fault might be. We found many faults and no reason for you to help us. But there are reasons outside Captain Anderson and Mr Channing and these men and me. We aim to connect two continents with instant communication because we believe a better understanding will. Come between men. Now. If this is a cause which interest you in our behalf. We pledge to give you the glory. In Jesus name Amen. No doubt about it was defeated about what kept him during practice.
There were men in both Europe and America who said that the Atlantic Cable could not be laid. At the speed of the ship the speed at which the cable was on while in the depths of the ocean would at some point lose synchronisation so that the cable would be ripped apart and the cable itself had to be perfect. The weather had to be good or there were many reasons why it could not be done. Say that Mr. Canning. How's it going. Everything with cables going through the machinery slows as the NCAA McBroom reported there's been continuous contact with the Island station through the entire length of the cable. If anything happens I'll know about it soon enough. It's a beautiful sound isn't it. Well think of the cable. It's a filter for cable Mr. Canning. My wife says I'm in love with The
Atlantic cable. Boss The Rose missed a fear of cost. Versus a right more step aside if. Men do go blind I'm looking into the cable up there. Missed the first day but your speed gap and started at three knots but we're up to six and off now that will probably be the peak. Yes we can cable faster than that. How did you ever get into the cable lion business anyway Cyrus stumbled and I reckon most of headsup reason. Sure isn't any pleasure to be in it. Oh I suppose I got tired of hanging up my necktie at the same stop every night to party when I was 34 Captain Anderson. I had made my fortune and retired with my wife and family to a beautiful home to my friend was nowhere in the world
where it started small but IT group is feeling one night I remember hanging up my necktie on the same stop as a hundred nights before and the fact that it was an expensive necktie didn't relieve the fact that I was doing nothing and going nowhere. Where you go in national debt to Newfoundland dragging a kid not drug Mr. Freeman. Please don't even mention dragging that blasted through your sorrows perhaps. Probably lost all your money. Good percentage of it is down with the last cables. But when we finish playing this one I'll be back in business. What makes you think you can make it this time. You never made it before Mr. Field. I have made it before say something Seth was along on that trip Cyrus made it 70 years ago. Look Doc you would have heard about it though said. The people in America almost with cries of celebration and bad news in newspapers and in people shouting and crying and you could get a list deputy to Christopher Columbus. I heard something about it was probably wrong no. I remember
there were celebrating something in London once when my ship was in port. Something about a cable and I can't remember it very well like Mystic ating said you were probably drunk no. I remember when people were on the streets and everybody was yelling. I figured there couldn't it had a baby or something because I maybe it was a lot harder. Anyway I think you know listen. What's the mittimus to caving. I thought I had the machinery you got upstairs. You couldn't have heard it with all the noise. I. Believe I'd go up on deck and check it in Iraq excuse me cos. I missed it. OK good night. I believe I would step out and take a look myself. Or he's got me all nervous. I finished up I sometimes like to say nice or. I'll see you later too so I was all right kept keep sober he said don't worry about me.
Captain Anderson. I hope you don't think I'm short of sense in this field for getting that celebration. I was probably on a ship at the time. It didn't last long anyway so I thought they said three years. But then the cable stopped working so it was all a favor I don't like to remember it. Sorry to have brought it up. It was like being on top of the world with your name in the history books. And they knocked you off with your foolish pays if you presume too much. That was the first cable you tried must be you know the third the first cable broke after about 400 miles so we had to raise more money. A second cable we tried to lay using two ships they met in the middle of the ocean. They are each took half the cable and one started toward Ion the other toward Newfoundland. How did that work. We started three times first and we got about three miles second time they got about 40. The third time they got to 100 before the cable broke. So I had to go back and raise some more money.
Some of the stockholders wouldn't even come to the meeting. I don't like to remember that there's. A third cable laid successfully and the world went crazy. My wife and I were having the most wonderful time of our lives. I was back home I was very happy. The president the royal family the governors mayors. And the cable stopped working. And it started again. And it stopped. Then it would start and stop and start and stop until I wanted to put up with my hands and choke and it stopped for good. So I started over. Raised three million dollars got another cable got a great system. Here we are. Yes I want some more coffee. Yes or I'll get to some steamin coffee from that yeah that would be very kind of hot coffee. Yes. I watch.
Now on. Things like no matter what. I'll go along with you Mr. enough hours that is. Almost just again in a way that I wish I could feel but
I consider this challenging. I have no. Money money with my husband 61. I'm leaving you and your company. Now and you know Nol you want to start another nominee for money. But I'll tell you what you honestly you. Know. Mr.. Stephen. That's the way you like it. Yes. Coffee. You drink it. Yes. The Great Eastern was the largest vessel in the world at that time and I got a message from the testing room to Mr.
Canning of the peyote machinery to Captain Alexander on the bridge and then to the engine room for quite a while. But on the second day of the voyage a message made that lengthy round in the message was there's a fault in the cable. Stop engines and prepare to pull it back. Do you have time to tell me what is going on Mr. Canning. Nothing serious I trust. To you. That is a force somewhere in the cable we put down the hall we have funded through the man in the testing room no less what part of a cable the fault lines. She had three opinions on day one opinion is it to four lies at this price we made to the story to the Cape of yours did I. Another opinion you see the full floor is east of bed joint in the third opinion is needed lawyers waste of this point. You mean move. Faster than they were. How long would it take to get the cable from the playout machinery into taking up machinery Mr. Canning. I don't know for sure
that you couldn't drop the cut into the cable on the saw and. If the ship doesn't slide too far with the gun. Now did it change existing. And if they. Move it to. My state it had two we're told to. Be pickin up the night for. The big one that's going to hurt the walking speed of the ship with the propellers on the side. Still it was at the mercy of wind in the Atlantic. Both of which were. Fortunately after two hours of taking in cable they cut it so that they might hook up their testing machinery to the island length and see if a proper signal was now possible. The cable was found to be still faulty so the operation continued. Oh I've known cable to stop working for two hours no one knew who I am then began again. I see Mr Fields most likely it's a mistake on show
the take up machinery is doing all right except the boiler's isn't it. Yes it's an improvement over the last two trips and I swear I missed a few. We get this kind of light I never want anybody to say cable to me again so long as I live and if we don't get it night and I said No I don't want anybody to say it at 2am on a cable was cut again for a second test and show that the fault in the cables still lay between the vessel and the Island station. The operation is easy. As the cable came aboard it was covered with a greyish coating of mud and moves from the bed of the ocean. A man washed it off and examined the cable foot by four. Like in Ireland for the Telegraph signal had suddenly stopped the engineers crowded around their equipment reporters for English and Continental papers waited for the man who had their money invested in the cable stock fidgeted nervously and when. What Albrecht over there were some fine bargains in Atlantic cable stock that morning I was on deck at one third the speed
of a human walk the cable came back and I left after dawn. All right stop the machinery. Secure the gable end because it prevented for another test the test proved the remaining cable was now sound engineers and Ireland breeze their way to the sigh of relief as the signal resumed. Reporters hurried to the nearby telegraph stations to wire their reports at landing cable stock went up again. Then about half an hour after the signal had resumed it stopped. When you knew what was wrong with you know where the fault line. I tell you Mr fever some man a stupid some you know smog we have smog minimal do ship whatever I want on the mish stupid sixteen hundred miles to go in my count gets 50 with a calm sea and in a shallow part of the ocean. A short time later the cable again work properly no one knew why it had stopped. No one
knew why it started again. At the Great Eastern began putting down once more. The fast hum of the cable running through the machinery was resumed. Mile after mile of six nautical miles an hour the Great Eastern put hours then days behinder its vision for the way things are going missed a field goal will be a new fundamental break deny this machinery of yours as a model mister can I believe it is way with just a little. We're having the luck reading that soon we will get to the edge of the ocean bank missed a few in depth and dropped there from 200 phantoms on down to 700 being just seventeen hundred Never mind never mind Mr Caton of course not. Mr. Field we're pulled into that little hobbit and Newfoundland Never mind I agree I agree with you. One of the full name for the Hobbit you're no walks it's 9 ox and 10 yes. Pots contain.
Newfoundland. The actual journal of W.H. Russell who was aboard. We take the following words July 27 morning broke on a bright bounding sea and clear blue sky from the testing room came gratifying reports improved insulation of the cable that's been caused by the emotion of the cable and Coda was that many of the man are planning out journeys to the United States. They speculate on the probability of spot and UFOs. July 28. The night nor a joyous progress all growing successfully. Not a kitchen table machinery or shipping. It's worthwhile to go and look at the table. As every day and scan by watchful eyes and noted in books. That fly
so the whole apparatus. And then in a gentle curve skims the surface of the ocean. More than 200 feet just. On Saturday July 29. Everything has gone on more admirably during the night. Heart's Content on August 5th his second. No. Ship's Time. Opposition is not to toot 52 degrees 33 minutes and 30 seconds. Longitude 27 degrees and 40 minutes. Water two thousand fathoms or two nautical miles. One 10 p.m.. Ship's Time. And ill omened activity about the testing room which has been visible for some time reached its climax. The engines were slow. And five minutes the great ship was motionless. And an instant afterwards everyone was on deck. And the evil tidings flew from lip to lip. Something was wrong with him. What's the pressure on the cable there. Missed again. Exactly my notion take
more than act according to the authorities. What are you thinking about Mr. Field. At this spot seven years ago Mr. Canning we began the second attempt to lay an Atlantic cable. Seven years ago and believe it or not it was on the same day. That if they were near there it is a coincidence we started in the middle of the ocean that first time had two ships one going in each direction you would a young man then weren't you. We were going to do the impossible Mr. Canning and nothing could stop us because it was right that the cape would be late. Oh I see. We shrugged when the cable broke the first time. I got the ship spec together and splice the cable again. Then it broke the second time. And the third time it broke we realize we were out of cable and out of the enterprise. That optimism and confidence were not enough. Why do you do it status. Why do you keep dry in. The last day we had to stop and pick up table to fold was a piece of wire not an inch long Richard Gere's the
cables insulation. After years of planning making preparations a piece of wire not an inch long threaten the success of the whole thing. Why do you do it. Because. Some day Mr. Canning I'm going to retire to New York go to Boston and join some important club or get a chair by the fire and win some young whippersnapper comes up to me and says Where's her and what do you do. I want to say. Well young man. I haven't been doing much since I laid the Atlantic cable. I want to see his expression sad it's brutish and it is big. That's why it's the biggest thing I've ever heard of. It's something my sons and grandsons can be proud of and point back to and say I'm Cyrus field the eighth for the ninth. And people will look up and say. I've heard the name. It's big Mr. Canning. It's impossible as a man can begin some of them impossible men climb mountains and of course
they do but only foolish ones know enough. Men are peculiar creatures. A lion an elephant they wouldn't climb a mountain just because it was big Goss somebody said it was impossible to do it but a man would. Man likes to stand on the top of accomplishments and give his lion's roar. Look look where I am. Look here all you past generations of two legged creatures you crusaders and kings and squires and sea captains and mothers and artisans of a thousand years ago. Look here this is what you said a man could not do. It is. Done. I don't hear about the procedures and. Also. There the people a thousand years ahead will be striking at even greater accomplishments and tracing back their history. I would be a part of their history. They would say. And back here in 1865 a group of men aboard our ship did the impossible and aided the progress of all mankind when they laid the Atlantic cable. Recruited in people and borne. I'm
stayin awake knowing Yes. And. For us have missed accounting. For the faces of the people when you say. Well young man. I haven't done much since I laid the Atlantic cable. Why. 9:30 p.m. ship's time. That part of the cable like the Mr. play was picked up. Was at once cut. And reserved to be examined by Mr. Canning. The sharp end was spliced in jointed to a fresh end of the cable from the AF the tank. These operations were finished before midnight. But it was not judged expedient to assume the process of paying out until the morning. As yet no one knew the nature of the injury to the cable. No one could account for the hitch. But it certainly did not affect anyone's belief in success. Now. We've been a bit delayed Cyrus but we're a bad off way and that with a little luck. For
they'll be calling you Christopher Columbus again to be the toast of Ireland and America again Cyrus the little duck on the night of August 2nd when the vessel is almost two thirds of the Air Force a gale rolls from the westward. Then the wind shifted suddenly to the north northwest. There was a deep fog the sea was hived up the border was 2005 and the word went from the pest room to Mr. Canning to the captain to the engine room that there was a flaw in the cable and the engines must be stopped. By engines going I can tell you the cable non-peer here I can see. Get that in Twitter the pilots we did nothing could have been. Cold like a bowling go down under the take up machine room and. Really have to drive get in. If we came to this blow job or whenever I did back then we had to run along till there was a Mr Candy good lordship did I miss it do you
think I don't know where we all. Knew you. In the salon of the vessel we did Cyrus. He was still sitting there much later when Captain Anderson and Mr. Canning came in and stood awkwardly nearby. They were drawn and tired. Salt water was on their faces and their clothing was great. Mr. Canning nodded to Captain Anderson. We lost. She's broke. She's going. In Tomorrow it's a water mist a favorite. She's. Got one. We've told you a story of defeat Ladies and Gentleman in order to tell you a greater story the
victory. The victory belongs to of Cyrus field. Who returned to England after this fourth failure in their once more raised the money needed the three million dollars needed for another kick. This new cable was put aboard the Great Eastern which one year later layoff will enjoy Ireland's steam up but engine silent her crewman again expected. On the ship only one man moved confidently. A man with a beard. He stepped out of the main salon as if he hadn't a care in the world. Copied to Cohen as usual on staff. Nobody considers you with coffee just the feel. Good morning Samus. I didn't say. He was a well-known man. Internationally famous. For his favors. One of the most dedicated salesmen of all time Cyrus the Great Cyrus the American Cyrus field. Who won his fifth attempt. Laid the Atlantic cable. American Adventure is written by Johnny Laird directed by John Clayton and produced by the
communications editor of the University of North Carolina American Adventure is a study of man in the New World. His values and his characteristics who he is what he believes. The series is made possible by the National Association of educational broadcasters and the fund for adult education an independent agency established by the Ford Foundation. And the resolute Cyrus field was played by Fred Young a student the captain was Bill Tuchman a student Mr. Canning was Johnny a member of the faculty. Seth was Allen O'Neal and Charles Kuralt was the narrator. The entire cast was composed of students faculty members and townspeople of the University of North Carolina community. American inventor was produced and recorded on the campus at Chapel Hill. This is the end network.
American adventure
Producing Organization
University of North Carolina
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
A study of persistence in the face of repeated failure. The story of Cyrus Field, who on his fifth attempt lays the Atlantic cable.
Series Description
This series studies the values and characteristics of notable figures from America's early years. It is written by John M. Ehle and directed by John S. Clayton.
Broadcast Date
Social Issues
Transatlantic cables--History.
Media type
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Actor: Kuralt, Charles, 1934-1997
Actor: Ehle, Gail
Director: Clayton, John S.
Host: Kasell, Carl.
Producing Organization: University of North Carolina
Writer: Ehle, John, 1925-
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 54-12-11 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:32
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Chicago: “American adventure; Resolute,” 1954-01-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed March 3, 2024,
MLA: “American adventure; Resolute.” 1954-01-01. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. March 3, 2024. <>.
APA: American adventure; Resolute. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from