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New York City's Committee on Streets meets to discuss a proposal that the city's telegraph lines be buried underground

New York City, circa 1856
New York's Committee on Streets met to consider an Alderman's request that the city's telegraph lines be run underground because telegraph poles were unsightly and "useless obstructions." The Committee quickly heard from Cyrus Field, who had just helped bring about the Trans- Atlantic cable, and others, that telegraph lines would not work underground and that if they could be made to do so, the cost to the city of insulation and burial would run upwards to S1,000,000. The project was quietly shelved. (By John Osborne)
Source Citation: 
"The Underground Telegraph Question," New York Times, January 31, 1859, p. 8.