Working papers, experimental notes and correspondence relating to the development of the electric telegraph, [1836-1960]
Archive Reference: K/PP107/1/1-5
Archive Reference: K/PP107/1/1-5
Papers relating to the development of the electric telegraph, notably including the report of a disputed claim concerning the invention of a version of the voltaic cell developed by John Frederic Daniell (1790-1845), chemist and professor at King’s College London, 1836; descriptions of experimental proposals by Wheatstone including those to determine the angular deviations of the needle of Melloni’s galvanometer [Macedonio Melloni (1798-1854), Italian physicist] by a constant current, 1841; descriptions of Wheatstone's telegraph, 1844; observations on the phosphorescent effects associated with telegraph cables, 1866; the investigation of the nature of 'extra current'; experiments to test the veracity of the theory of induction by Michael Faraday (1791-1867), natural philosopher; proposals for the improvement of electric light; suggestions for improvements to electrical measurement devices notably including the galvanometer, the rotary discharger, and a type of battery known as the 'electrical torpedo'.
Experimental notes compiled by Charles Wheatstone in particular detailing early practical experiments in telegraph relay over long distances, including an experiment conducted at Ascot racetrack, Berkshire, 1844; transcriptions of telegraph messages sent by the Police, 1844; correspondence concerning payment for the supply of electric telegraph instrumentation, 1844; correspondence between Wheatstone, Cromwell Fleetwood Varley (1828-1883), telegraph engineer, and Josiah Latimer Clark (1822-1898), electrical engineer, on the measurement of electrical potential, 1865; description of the difference of opinion between Wheatstone and (Josiah) Latimer Clark on the velocity of electrical transmission, with note on a patent application lodged by Clark, 1866; papers concerning differential induction, specific induction and the electrometer, 1860-1870; observations on electrical conductivity of deposits of copper in Cornish mines; working notes on electromagnets and batteries in relation to electric telegraphs, including diagrams and sketches, with test results; notes entitled 'another method of measuring resistance'; heads of reflections on Ohm's Law and its application to the electric telegraph.
Papers relating to the development of the electric telegraph, notably including inventories of electrical instruments, and of books and instruments lent to colleagues by Wheatstone, 1861-1862; observations by Wheatstone on the telegraph alphabet and examples of Morse code, on the practical application of telegraph and electromagnetic devices such as parliamentary division bells, calculating machines and turnstiles, and the theoretical possibility of developing primitive mine clearance devices based upon electromagnetic technology, 1859-1867; correspondence between Wheatstone and the Electric International Telegraph Company on improvements to apparatus, 1868; sketches of electrical circuit diagrams with equations and thumbnail sketch of the single needle telegraph; notes extracted from a paper presented by Sir William Snow Harris (1791-1867), natural philosopher and Fellow of the Royal Society, on electrical potential; observations on the spontaneous charge of a submarine cable and on cable insulation; descriptions of experiments to improve the effectiveness of batteries; reflections on the theory of electricity at the molecular level and the relationship between static and dynamic electricity.
Bundle of papers entitled 'experimental apparatus-electricity', comprising working notes and correspondence relating mainly to electric telegraph equipment including a letter between James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879), physicist and Professor of Natural Philosophy, King's College London, and Charles Wheatstone, concerning the quantity of electricity required to charge a wire, 1862; notes on various pieces of electrical apparatus, principally components in the electric telegraph, including the induction relay, finger input key, circuit breakers, and proposed equipment designed to improve the performance of telegraph printers and reduce the power consumption of the telegraph, with rough sketches and illustrations; inventory of telegraphic accessories; instructions for the construction of a portable meteorology station; correspondence by John Frederick William Herschel (1792-1871), mathematician and astronomer, regarding Kew Observatory and academic vacancies at the University of Melbourne, Australia, 1848-1852, [1848-1862]. Correspondence between Alexander Siemens (1847-1928), electrical engineer, and John Cutler (1839-1925), Professor of English Law and Jurisprudence, King’s College London, on telegraphic cables, 1898.
Correspondence between Charles [Carl] Ruland [1834-1907], Librarian, Windsor Castle, on behalf of Albert (1819-1861), Prince Consort, and Charles Wheatstone, describing Prince Albert's suggestion that enclosed columns of water might act as a conducting medium for underwater electric telegraph communications in preference to submarine cables, 1860. Correspondence between Dr Edward James Burge, Department of Physics, King's College London, and the librarian of Windsor Castle, relating to Prince Albert's proposal, 1960. With copies and photographic negatives of the original letter.