This is a model of the trans-Atlantic cable-laying ship the 'Faraday' which was especially designed to lay telegraph cable in the world's oceans. Beginning in 1874 and continuing for the next 50 years, the ship lay an estimated total of 50,000 nautical miles (93,000 km) of cable for Siemens Brothers, including several trans-Atlantic cables.
This model, made between 1888 and 1907, is particularly significant because it was made by Daniel Aldous, an electrical mechanic, who served on board the 'Faraday' while undertaking its cable-laying duties.
The full-size 'Faraday' was laid down in 1873 and launched in February 1874. She was 5,000 tons, 360 feet (109.7 m) long, 52 feet (15.8 m) in the beam and 30 feet (9.1 m) deep. Her interior featured three enormous iron tanks, for receiving 1,700 miles (2736 km) of cable, which were built into the body of the ship to greatly increase its structural strength. Two were 45 feet (13.7 m) in diameter and 30 feet (9.1 m) deep. She carried all the machinery required for laying cable as well as for grappling and recovering lost cable.
The ship had a number of design features which were novel at the time. Both of her funnels were abreast of each other, thereby allowing the cable to be played out amidships. The gearing, fore and aft, for laying and picking up cables, was also obvious and the ship was lit throughout by electricity. The 'Faraday'proved to be a good sea-going vessel as she was capable of laying and recovering cables even in the worst weather.