Highnam Heritage AGM and Talk by Stephen Rowley – Friday 26th January

Sir Charles Wheatstone, developer of telegraphy, was born on the 6th February 1802 at the Manor House, Barnwood, Gloucester. In 1806 the family moved to London, where Wheatstone went to school. At the age of fourteen he was apprenticed to an uncle, who had a musical instrument manufacturing business in the Strand. Charles was fascinated by the physics of sound and in 1823 -the same year he took over his Uncle’s business with his younger brother William -he contributed to a paper ‘Thomson’s Annals of Philosophy’, describing his early experiments with sound. In 1825 he constructed a mouth organ with free reeds governed by a small button keyboard; further experiments led to the bellows-blown concertina. One of the few original British musical instrument designs, it is still being played at the present time.

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