A Victorian Ecological Disaster: Imperialism, the Telegraph, and Gutta-Percha

  title={A Victorian Ecological Disaster: Imperialism, the Telegraph, and Gutta-Percha},
  author={J. Tully},
  journal={Journal of World History},
  pages={559 - 579}
  • J. Tully
  • Published 2009
  • History
  • Journal of World History
  • Until the invention of the electric telegraph, messages sent across the vast colonial empires of the nineteenth century took many months to arrive. By 1907, some 200,000 nautical miles of cable criss-crossed the ocean floors. Insulation of the cables from seawater relied on gutta-percha, a natural plastic related to rubber. Gutta-percha is all but forgotten today, but during the Victorian era it was a household word. Ironically, the high-tech Victorian telegraph industry was served by a… CONTINUE READING
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