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The International Ocean Telegraph Company is formed to extend telegraph lines into Central American and the Caribbean.


The International Ocean Telegraph Company was incorporated on this day with plans to lay extensive overland and submarine cable to connect the United States telegraphically with Central and South America, beginning with Cuba.  Union Army Civil War general William "Baldy" Smith was named as president.  The company was successful in its Cuban venture and connected Washington D.C. with Havana in September 1867, via Punta Rassa and Key West in Florida.  By 1873, the Cuban line was handling more that fifty thousand messages a year and the company was booming. (By John Osborne)

Source Citation: 

Tom Hambright, "Key West & Cuba Become Link for International Communications: International Ocean Telegraph Co. in Key West," Florida Keys Sea Heritage Journal, Fall 1991.