The term transatlantic
refers to something occurring all the way across the Atlantic Ocean
. Most often, this refers to the exchange of passengers, cargo, information, or communication between North America
are passages of passengers and cargo between North America and Europe. Prior to the 19th century, transatlantic crossings were undertaken in sailing ships
, which was a time consuming and often perilous journey. Transatlantic crossings became faster, safer, and more reliable with the advent of steamships
. The Blue Riband
is awarded for the record fastest crossing. Grand ocean liners
began making regularly scheduled crossings, and soon it became a symbol of national and company status to build the largest, fastest, and most luxurious ocean liner for transatlantic crossings. Examples of some famous transatlantic liners are , , , , , and .
Transatlantic flight would eventually surpass ocean liners as the predominant mode of crossing the Atlantic by the late 20th century. In 1919, the American NC-4
became the first airplane
to cross the Atlantic (but in multiple stages). Later that year, a British Vickers Vimy
piloted by Alcock and Brown
made the first non-stop transatlantic flight from Newfoundland
. In 1921, the British were the first to cross the Atlantic in an airship
. In 1927, Charles Lindbergh
made the first solo non-stop transatlantic flight in an airplane (between New York City
). The second solo piloting, and the first to carry a passenger, was Clarence Duncan Chamberlin
on June 6
. Edward R. Armstrong
proposed a string of anchored "seadromes" to refuel planes in a crossing.
The first serious attempt to take a share of the transatlantic passenger market away from the ocean liners was undertaken by Germany. In the 1930s, Germany crossed the Atlantic with Zeppelins that could carry about 60 passengers in relatively the same luxurious style as the ocean liners. However, the Hindenburg disaster in 1937 put an end to transatlantic Zeppelin flights. Beginning in the 1950s, the glory and predominance of ocean liners began to wane when larger and larger passenger airplanes began whisking passengers across the ocean in less and less time. The speed of crossing the ocean became more popular than the style of crossing it. By the 1970s, supersonic Concorde airplanes could cross the Atlantic in under four hours and only one ocean liner remained on the transatlantic route for those who favored the slower style of travel.
are cables that have been laid along the ocean floor to connect North America and Europe. Before the advent of radio
, the only means of communication across the Atlantic Ocean was to physically connect the continents with a transatlantic telegraph cable
, which was installed from Valentia
to Heart's Content
in 1858. The first transatlantic telephone cable, TAT-1
, was installed in 1955. The first transatlantic fiber optic cable, TAT-8
, was installed in 1988. The exchange rate
between the United States dollar
and British pound
is still colloquially known as "cable" by financial marketeers on account of the fact the rate of exchange was one of the early uses of the transatlantic cable.
communication was first accomplished on December 12, 1901 by Guglielmo Marconi
who, using a temporary receiving station at Signal Hill, Newfoundland
, received a Morse code
signal representing the letter "S" sent from Poldhu
, in Cornwall
, United Kingdom. Guglielmo Marconi initiated commercial transatlantic radio communications between his high power long wave wireless telegraphy stations in Clifden
Ireland and Glace Bay, Nova Scotia
on 17 October 1907
Amateur radio operators are usually credited with the discovery of transatlantic radio communication in the shortwave bands. The first successful transatlantic tests were conducted by radio amateurs in December 1921 operating in the 200 meter mediumwave band, the shortest wavelength then available to amateurs. In 1922 hundreds of North American amateurs were heard in Europe at 200 meters and at least 20 North American amateurs heard amateur signals from Europe. The first two way transatlantic shortwave radio contacts were completed by radio amateurs in November 1923, on 110 meters.
Marconi initiated the first commercial shortwave transatlantic radio communication between the UK to Canada using his "Beam Wireless Service" which into commercial operation on 25 October, 1926. Shortwave radio vastly increased the speed and capacity of transatlantic communications at dramatically reduced cost compared to telegraph cable and long wave radio.
Telstar was the first communications satellite to provide commercial transatlantic communications. It was launched by on July 10, 1962, the first privately sponsored space launch. Communications satellites vastly increased the speed and quality of transatlantic communication, but transatlantic fiber optic cables have carried the vast majority of transatlantic communications traffic since the early 1990s.
The Transatlantic Tunnel
is a structure proposed by one of the engineers
involved in the construction of the Channel Tunnel
beneath the English Channel
. It would be a tunnel
that spans the Atlantic Ocean
between New York City
and the United Kingdom
. There have been plans for such a tunnel, but no substantial action towards its construction.
Transatlantic rowing race
The first East-West Atlantic Rowing Race
took place in 1997 from the Canary Islands
to the Caribbean
. It now runs once every two years or so.
The first West-East 'North' Atlantic Rowing Race took place in 2006 from New York to Falmouth UK.
The relationship between Europe and North America, or between Europe and the United States, is often referred to as transatlantic.