Elphinstone Dalrymple, with Messrs Hill and Johnstone, finishing in December 1873, effected a valuable survey of the inlets and navigable rivers in the Cape York Peninsula.
As to cost, one transatlantic cable repair cost 75,000; the repair of the Aden-Bombay cable, broken in a depth of 1900 fathoms, was effected with the expenditure of 176 miles of new cable, and after a lapse of 251 days, 103 being spent in actual work, which for the remainder of the time was interrupted by the monsoon; a repair of the Lisbon-Porthcurnow cable, broken in the Bay of Biscay in 2700 fathoms, eleven years after the cable was laid, took 215 days, with an expenditure of 300 miles of cable.
It was found impossible to make the Morse ink writer so sensitive that it could record signals sent over land lines of several hundred miles in length, if the speed of transmission was very much faster than that which could be effected by hand, and this led to the adoption of automatic methods of transmission.
The synchronous revolutions of the transmitting cylinders are effected by making one cylinder revolve slightly faster than the other; after each revolution the cylinder which is accelerated is arrested for a moment by means of a special relay until the difference of speed is accurately compensated for.
The reforms which it was to bring about were eagerly and impatiently demanded by the public. This great operation had to be effected without interrupting the public service, and the department had immediately to reduce and to simplify the charges for transmission throughout the kingdom.