Updated November 12, 2004
John W. Mackay patiently breaking the
Trans-Atlantic Cable Monopoly of a Furious
Jay Gould - 1884-1886
The undersea confrontation, pictured below, led Gould to refuse to retransmit Commercial Cable Company, Trans-Atlantic traffic overland in the USA via his Western Union Telegraph land lines. 

John Mackay's countermove was to consolidate smaller, eastern independent telegraph companies into his New York based Postal Telegraph Company, rename this new organization the Postal Telegraph-Cable Company (in January 1886) and rapidly expand operations westward to St. Louis. He then made an end run to the north around the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Coast via an agreement and contract with the Canadian Pacific Railroad. John Mackay had linked Paris with San Francisco by the summer of 1886. Jay Gould more than met his match in John W. Mackay.
1880s Cartoon contributed by John Barbier. This type of cartoon was regularly produced in weekly magazines such as "Puck", "Judge", "Harpers Weekly", etc.  John has an eBay Shop that specializes in illustrations from 19th and early 20th Century magazines. His web site is at http://4JB.com