Artifact Archive

Military Cable Telegraph System


March 24, 2022

Early communication in Alaska took months by ship. Eventually the Washington-Alaska Military Cable Telegraph System (WAMCATS) was installed, but undersea cable was frequently severed by ice. Radiotelegraph replaced wires, and telephones were introduced, allowing some civilian use. WAMCATS became the Army Communication Service (ACS) and later Alaska Communications Service. RCA purchased ACS in 1969, agreeing to provide improved service to 142 remote communities. A teletype and modem could communicate through public telephone lines. Operator Patty Norheim would take 5 minutes to type one page, a...

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