The Cable Wharf- a Brief History

Updated: Jul 13, 2021

A black and white photo of the Cable Wharf area of downtown Halifax, taken from on board USAT General R.M. Blatchford. The photo was taken on October 29 or 30, 1950.

You may be surprised to know that Halifax and Nova Scotia (via Newfoundland) played a very important role in connecting Canada and North America with Europe. This significant accomplishment was realized through transatlantic cabling which included a vital connection on the Halifax waterfront. The over 3,200-kilometre-long cable stretched across the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean reaching depths as much as 3.2 kilometers. The cable was made from an insulated copper conductor protected by a rope-like metal sheath, and was designed to carry “messages” in the form of signals which translated letters of every word into Morse Code. The transmitted message was then decoded by a telegraph operator in Halifax.

To mark the historical connection of the transatlantic cable with Murphy’s the Cable Wharf (now Murphy’s on the Water), Waterfront Development Corporation (now Develop Nova Scotia) and the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, launched the Cable Wharf interpretive walkway project. A series of 10 panels highlighting the stories of ships and crew that were part of the cabling era in the 1900s, were officially unveiled on May 17, 2011 at Murphy’s the Cable Wharf.

"The Cable Wharf interpretive panels will inform visitors and residents of Nova Scotia's prominent place in the history of global communications," said Percy Paris, then Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism.

Visit Murphy’s on the Water at 1751 Lower Water Street to experience the Cable Wharf interpretive walkway and discover so much more about this important part of Halifax’s history.

Photo: Donated to Pier 21, May 18 2007, by Bohumir Ribek. Bohumir Ribek lived in Czechoslovakia until he was displaced by the Second World War. He was originally denied International Refugee Organization assistance, but successfully appealed the decision in the fall of 1949. Bohumir immigrated to Canada in October 1950 and settled in Val d'Or, Quebec.

#CableWharf #Halifax #NovaScotia #MurphystheCableWharf #HalifaxBlog

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