Charles Wheatstone and the TelegraphThe electric telegraph is a now outdated communication system that transmitted electric signals over wires from location to location that translated into a message.
In 1837, Charles Wheatstone partnered with William Cooke to co-invent an electric telegraph. The Wheatstone-Cooke telegraph or needle telegraph was the first working telegraph in Great Britain, put into operation on the London and Blackwall Railway.
Charles Wheatstone and William Cooke used the principles of electromagnetism in their telegraph to point a needle at alphabetic symbols. Their initial device used a receiver with five magnetic needles, but before the Wheatstone-Cooke telegraph would be used commercially several improvements were made, including reducing the number of needles to one.
Both Charles Wheatstone and William Cooke viewed their device as an improvement to the existing electromagnetic telegraph, and not as a totally new device. The Wheatstone-Cooke telegraph was discarded after American inventor and painter, Samuel Morse invented the Morse Telegraph that was adopted as the standard in telegraphy.
Charles Wheatstone - Other Inventions & Achievements
- 1821 - Charles Wheatstone invents the Enchanted Lyre.
- 1827 - Charles Wheatstone was the first person to coin the phrase "microphone.
- 1829 - Charles Wheatstone invented an improved accordion.
- 1834 - Charles Wheatstone used revolving mirrors to measure the speed of electricity traveling through nearly 8 miles of wire. Although his calculations mistakenly lead him to the conclusion that electricity travels faster than light, his ingenious experiment corrects the common belief of the time that electricity traveled instantaneously.
- 1834 - Charles Wheatstone was appointed professor of experimental physics at King's College in London, where he conducted pioneering experiments in electricity and invented: an improved dynamo, and two devices to measure and regulate electrical resistance and current: the Rheostat and an improved Wheatstone bridge.
- 1838 - Charles Wheatstone invented the stereoscope that showed three-dimensional photographs. Three-dimensional or stereo photography had the optical illusion of real depth by presenting slightly different images to each eye of the viewer.
- 1854 - Charles Wheatstone invented the Playfair Cipher, an encryption technique.