Sir Charles Wheatstone, an English physicist, born in Gloucester in 1802, died in Paris, Oct. 19, 1875. He was from early youth a musical instrument maker, which led him to investigate the laws of sound and their application to music; and in 1823 and subsequently he published papers on the subject in the "Annals of Philosophy" and the "Quarterly Journal of Science." In 1833 he published in the " Philosophical Transactions " papers on Chladni's figures, and in 1834 his celebrated "Account of some Experiments to measure the Velocity of Electricity and the Duration of Electric Light." (See Electricity, vol. vi., p. 509.) In 1834 he was appointed professor of experimental philosophy in King's college, London, and in 1836 elected a fellow of the royal society, when he read a paper entitled "Contributions to the Physiology of Vision;" and this led to the invention of his stereoscope, which he first exhibited in 1838. In connection with William Fothergill Cooke, he made experiments and attained results in the transmission of intelligence upon copper wires by means of electricity which entitle him to be regarded as one of the inventors of the electric telegraph as a practical reality; and though Morse's invention was undoubtedly of earlier date, there is no reason to suppose that he knew of Morse's discovery at the time (June, 1836) when his own experiments were made public.
He was associated with Mr. Cooke in the first telegraph patent in England. The electro-magnetic alarum was also invented by him, as well as several instruments for registering by means of electro-magnetism the indications of the thermometer, barometer, etc, transit observations in astronomy, and extremely short intervals of time. Among his other publications were papers on the " Physiology of Vision" (1852), the "BinocularMicroscope" (1853), "Fessil's Gyroscope" (1854), "Powers for Arithmetical Progression" (1854-'5), and "Automatic Telegraphy" (1859). Wheatstone was one of the jurors in the class for heat, light, and electricitj in the Paris exposition of 1855. In 1868 ho was knighted and received the Copley medal of the royal society for his researches in acoustics, optics, electricity, and magnetism.