Charles Wheatstone was born above his family’s shop at 52/54 Westgate Streetand at the age of 14 was apprenticed to his uncle, a musical instrument maker in London.
Charles became fascinated with the physics of both sound and electricity, and having invented the concertina in 1829 went on to perfect a stereoscope for viewing photographs ( which became invaluable for 20th Century aerial reconnaissance ) and devices for measuring the speed of electricity and light.
In 1834 he became Professor of experimental physics at Kings College London, and in 1837 – along with William Cooke – developed the electric telegraph. This was first used to control trains between Euston station and Chalk Farm in London. He was later knighted by Queen Victoria for his work on the first transatlantic telegraph cable.
He is also remembered for the Wheatstone bridge – used to measure electrical resistance – and the ” Magic Harp ” which inspired Alexander Graham Bell to invent the telephone.