Frederick Newton Gisborne

Frederick Newton Gisborne, telegraph engineer (b at Broughton, Eng 8 Mar 1824; d at Ottawa 30 Aug 1892). At the age of 32, Gisborne completed the first submarine telegraph line in North America, joining Newfoundland across the Cabot Strait with the mainland.

Gisborne, Frederick Newton

Frederick Newton Gisborne, telegraph engineer (b at Broughton, Eng 8 Mar 1824; d at Ottawa 30 Aug 1892). At the age of 32, Gisborne completed the first submarine telegraph line in North America, joining Newfoundland across the Cabot Strait with the mainland. Gisborne immigrated to Canada in 1845, became a telegraph operator and soon manager of the NS Telegraph Co. He created a company to link St John's with NB. Though nearly ruined in 1853 by the cost of building a land line across 640 km of Newfoundland wilderness, he was refinanced by Cyrus Field, the American industrialist. Together they completed the Nfld telegraph, from Cape Ray to Cape Breton, in 1856. Field went on to tackle the North Atlantic, succeeding in 1866 after 3 earlier cables broke. Gisborne became superintendent of the Canadian government telegraph service in 1879. He was a charter member of the RSC in 1882 and held many patents for his own inventions.