Fiber Optic Stub

The recent cut cables that had taken the Internet offline in Asia, the Middle East as well as a post on news.ycombinator.com to a map of undersea internet cables lodged some fond memories lose:

A few years back I lived with him (my grandfather) for a year in Brighton, UK and we’d spend hours discussing technology and engineering over tea or a pint. What I enjoyed the most most about our talks was learning about his life, who he was and discovering that he helped lead the teams that laid the fiber optics between the US and the UK.

Previous to that he had spent quite a bit of time in Canada, vancouver i believe, working with Canadian engineers developing methods to push the effectiveness of fiber optics past 3 miles. As a parting gift he gave me a fiber optic stub from the factory he was an engineer at – A tear shaped piece of glass from which the tiny fibers are pulled.

This map just sparked so many fantastic memories of my time with him! The great talks as well as being humiliated at the pub as an 83 year old man drank me under the table! – news.ycombinator.com

And here it is, the fiber optic stub my grandfather gave me:

fiber optic stub

This little guy produced its share of fiber threads that are now undersea, passing an array of data and voice between the U.K. and the rest of the world.

I just think it is so cool to own a little piece of history, something so important as bridging the communication gap between nations.

My grandfather grew up in an era where the World started becoming a whole lot smaller and the Internet is another piece in that puzzle.


Of interest:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Submarine_communications_cable