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William Thomas Henley

William Thomas Henley

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William Thomas Henley was a pioneer in the manufacture of telegraph cables. He designed and built a wire covering machine which is now in the London Science Museum
Science Museum (London)
The Science Museum is one of the three major museums on Exhibition Road, South Kensington, London in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. It is part of the National Museum of Science and Industry. The museum is a major London tourist attraction....


He set up as a submarine cable
Submarine communications cable
A submarine communications cable is a cable laid on the sea bed between land-based stations to carry telecommunication signals across stretches of ocean....

 maker in 1857 and by 1859 he had his own factory beside the Thames
River Thames
The River Thames flows through southern England. It is the longest river entirely in England and the second longest in the United Kingdom. While it is best known because its lower reaches flow through central London, the river flows alongside several other towns and cities, including Oxford,...

 at North Woolwich
North Woolwich
North Woolwich is a place in the London Borough of Newham. It is located north of Woolwich proper which is on the south bank of the River Thames. The two places are linked by the Woolwich Ferry and the Woolwich foot tunnel.-History:...

. He went on to manufacture the shore ends of the second Transatlantic cable
Transatlantic telegraph cable
The transatlantic telegraph cable was the first cable used for telegraph communications laid across the floor of the Atlantic Ocean. It crossed from , Foilhommerum Bay, Valentia Island, in western Ireland to Heart's Content in eastern Newfoundland. The transatlantic cable connected North America...

 in 1865.

W. T. Henley Ltd. was acquired by AEI
Associated Electrical Industries
Associated Electrical Industries was a British holding company formed in 1928 through the merger of the British Thomson-Houston Company and Metropolitan-Vickers electrical engineering companies...

 in 1959, and later became part of GEC following its takeover of AEI in 1967. The company was sold to TT electronics in 1997, and remains in business to this day producing cable accessories, insulators and low voltage fuse gear in Belvedere
Belvedere, London
Belvedere is a suburban and largely working class area and electoral ward in the London Borough of Bexley in Southeast London.-History:The area which is today known as Belvedere was originally part of Lesness Heath, which originally stretched from the area of Lesnes Abbey to Erith and constituted...

, after many years in Northfleet
Northfleet is a town in the Borough of Gravesham in Kent, England. Its name is derived from North creek , and the settlement on the shore of the River Thames adjacent to Gravesend was known as Norfluet in the Domesday Book, and Northflet in 1201...


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