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The S.S. Great Eastern begins her new career as a telegraphic cable layer, beginning with the Atlantic Cable

S.S. Great Eastern, Sheerness, England, before departing to relay Atlantic Cable, June 22, 1865, artist's impression
06/22/1865
Launched in 1858 as the largest vessel ever built, the giant iron steamer Great Eastern had proved unprofitable as a liner even when carrying 4000 passengers. She had been sold and refitted as a telegraphic cable layer in 1864. Embarking on a successful career in that role, the 32,000 ton vessel sailed from Sheerness in England to begin the process of relaying more than two thousand miles of the Atlantic Cable. (By John Osborne)  
Source Citation: 
"The Atlantic Telegraphic Cable," Harper's Weekly Magazine, July 29, 1865, p. 476.