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Sir Charles Wheatstone - In Memoriam

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#1 John Wild

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Posted 19 October 2003 - 10:35 AM

19th October

Sir Charles Wheatstone died in Paris on this day in 1875.

#2 Samantha


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Posted 19 October 2003 - 04:37 PM

What was he doing in Paris?


#3 Clive Thorne

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Posted 19 October 2003 - 05:23 PM

He was just dying to go there!


#4 wes williams

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Posted 20 October 2003 - 07:08 AM

Wheatstone never retired. He was on a visit to the French Telegraph Authorities to try to persuade them to test and adopt his latest inventions. He died of bronchitis, and was buried in Kensal Green Cemetery, London.

#5 goran rahm

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Posted 20 October 2003 - 10:27 AM

Every time Charles Wheatstone is remembered and honoured as *the inventor* of *the concertina* (well ....actually not literally this time since John seemingly wished to celebrate his death only...) I get the same slightly rebellious impulse to question the role of CW in relation to the brother WW... William Wheatstone.
Do we actually *know* the distribution of responsibility between the two brothers concerning the development of the concertina? Or the role of their father?
What I have read is this: They inherited their uncle's enterprise together 1823 (CW 21 and WW 19 years old) and CW soon started a career as an inventor in very various fields of physics and later on an academic career as well while WW was the one who actually was in charge of the business and instrument production until his death 1862. ( Their father WW is said to have joined in the business in 1826. He died not until 1854)
The fact that the significant patents 1829 and 1844 were granted CW does not proove anything about the possible role of WW (senior and junior) in the work. CW evidently was the 'scholar' of the two brothers and probably got quite a bit of bureaucratic experience related to his other inventions. It is not unusual that patents are applied for and granted just one of two (or more) partners (with resulting long lasting personal and legal fights about division of economic results when these are unexpected good...).
So...just as an speculative hypothesis....maybe WW (and/or WW senior) ought to be at least as much honoured for the development of the *concertina* as CW or maybe even it was to a greater part the work of WW?!?
Maybe there is little speaking for this but I could well imagine a possible rivalry between the two which is somewhat hinted in the 1861 patent granted WW in which there is outspoken critics of the concertina concept described in the CW patent of 1844.
Anyway...in my eyes 'the invention of the concertina' is not prooved to be a 'one man's work'......

Goran Rahm

#6 JimLucas


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Posted 22 October 2003 - 07:17 AM

I've created a new Topic -- "Which Wheatstone?" -- in this Forum, for my response to Göran's "speculations" regarding the relative contributions of the two Wheatstone brothers.

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