Wheatstone, Sir Charles (1802-1875), an English physicist and inventor. With William F. Cooke, he invented an electric telegraph, patented in 1837, the same year that Samuel F. B. Morse patented his instrument. Wheatstone also invented the concertina, a stereoscope, and an automatic telegraph. He conducted experiments with submarine cables and introduced the Wheatstone bridge, a device used to measure electrical resistances.

Wheatstone was born in Gloucester. He began his career as a maker of musical instruments. The first of his many scientific papers was published when he was only 21. In 1834 Wheatstone became professor of experimental philosophy (science) at King's College, London. A shy man, he seldom lectured, and many of his inventions were first described by Michael Faraday in talks at the Royal Society. Wheatstone became a fellow of the Royal Society in 1836 and was knighted in 1868.