Scripophily site
a collection of historic bonds and shares

The Commercial Cable Company
(update October 13th 2000)

Dr. Hugo H. van der Molen - Wederikweg 114 - 9753 AE Haren, The Netherlands
Tel: +31 (0)50 534 8795; Fax: +31 (0)50 534 0852; email: [email protected]

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 The Commercial Cable Company

J.W. MacKay and J. Gordon Bennett had formed a partnership and in 1884 their Commercial Cable Company had established its office at Hazel Hill, 2 miles outside Canso, in Guysborough County, Nova Scotia, Canada.

For this period in time the homes and facilities that were provided for the employees of the Cable Company were second to none. There were over twenty family homes constructed and a bachelors' residence along with a clubhouse. The properties were very well maintained by the company and plenty of activities and sporting events were organized by the Staff Athletic Association. At its peak of operations, shortly after the turn of the century, Commercial employed about 75 people. The
company's influence on Canso was felt for seventy-seven years and when you consider that this spanned over four generations you get some idea of the number of people who had been involved in this story. Commercial Cable ceased operations in 1962 when Mr. Charles L.Holness sent the final message over the cable and turned the station off.

Clarence H. Mackay, the son of the founder J.W. Mackay, had a grand mansion in Roslyn, New York until about 1947, when it either burnt down or was torn down to make way for a housing development.

From the 28 submarine cables laid between North America and Europe from 1857 to 1928, 7 were installed by The Commercial Cable Company, illustrating the relative importance of the company at that time:
1883 - Le Havre, France to New York via England, Ireland, and Dover Bay, Nova Scotia
1884 -  (same route as its 1883 line)
1894 -  (same route as its two previous lines)
1884 -  (same route as its 1883 line)
1894 -  (same route as its two previous lines)

After 1928, those cables which connected Europe and North America were designed for telephone use.

On the interim bond certificate from 1897 (see below), the first 3 cables are depicted. The first one is not dated 1883, however, but also 1984. I am not sure which date is the correct one.

The Commercial Cable Company, New York, febr. 8th 1897, Interim bond certificate no 320, for $ 10.000 (amount filled in by pen and by figure punch holes) 4% gold bonds secured by mortgage on all the companies properties, including those of the Postal Telegraph-Cable Co. heretofore acquired. These bonds were issued to stockholders of the aforementioned company in exchange for their stocks.Original signatures of president and of secretary Albert Beetz, price f 1278 = 580 Euro.
This certificate shows a 15 by 5 cm drawing of 3 transatlantic telegraph cables connecting Western Europe and Canada, as well as connections within these continents. These cables were laid in 1983, 1984 and 1994 by the company, using the MacKay-Bennett system, named after the two founders of this company, J.W. Mackay and J. Gordon Bennett.

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