“We had occasion to send a telegraphic message to our correspondent in London, through the Atlantic Cable, consisting of exactly twenty words. According to the published schedule, that should have gone forward for £20 sterling, but the director at this end charged £24, or $120 in gold, so as to cover the date of transmission. We wish the Submarine Telegraph Company success, but it seems to us impossible that the public can submit to such exorbitant, and as it appears to us, unreasonable charges.”
—Scientific American, August 1866
More gems from Scientific American’s first 175 years can be found on our shiny anniversary page.