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