|First Commercial Telegraph
This being settled, they began experimenting together in March and April and applied for their first patent in May. The first filing of the patent met with strong opposition from Davy which was overcome and an English patent was sealed in June, 1837. Next the patent filing in Scotland met with opposition from Alexander William but was again resolved and on Dec 12th 1837, and the patent in Scotland was sealed. There was no opposition for the Irish patent, however since Cooke and Wheatstone filed this late, they did not receive the sealed Irish patent until April of 1838. Morse traveled to England to file a patent in June of 1838, however under protest from Cooke, Wheatstone, and Davy, it is denied due to prior publication of the patent in mechanical publication. English law prohibits publication of invention before the patent. All is not lost for Morse as he finds constructive conversations about the telegraph with some of the people who oppose him. By a stroke of luck Morse winds up finding his way into a seat in Westminster Abbey for the coronation of Queen Victoria on June 28th 1838.
In 1839 Wheatstone and Cooke had started the first commercial telegraph system in England. As the business manager, Cook had worked out an arrangement to install the telegraph system along the route of the Great Western railway between Paddington and West Drayton. The telegraph network would now expand rapidly throughout England. Despite much success in the public eye, there was friction between Wheatstone and Cooke regarding who actually invented the telegraph. It was common knowledge that Cooke went to Wheatstone for scientific help on the subject of the telegraph because the device, which Cooke constructed, never worked! In1840 arbitration between Cooke and Wheatstone began with close friends in the middle. The conclusion of the findings was that Cooke had contributed the business and management skills necessary to bring the telegraph into the mainstream and Wheatstone had contributed his scientific skill to construct a stable dependable device on which the business could be built. The panel tried to be fair to both giving neither party the upper hand in the arbitration.
Back in the United States Morse finally receives funding from the United States Congress to run a line from between Washington DC and Baltimore Md. In1844 Samuel Morse sends his famous message "What hath God wrought?" over his telegraph system. At one point Wheatstone and Cooke approached Morse and offered corporation in USA. Morse considers the idea but declines.
In 1845 Wheatstone's telegraph was used in England to apprehend a criminal traveling on a train. "The Quake Murderer" was seen boarding a London bound train at Slough. The authorities send a telegram up the railway line to the Paddington station where the suspect is arrested. This new use of technology to apprehend a criminal was widely publicized. The telegraph was now widely known. They settled the business that same year as Cooke bought out Wheatstone's shares for 30,000 pounds. In the new company arrangement, Wheatstone is to stay on as the scientific advisor however as they move to incorporate, Alexander Bain, who has worked with Wheatstone as a technical assistant, accuses Wheatstone of stealing his ideas and intellectual. Wheatstone is horrified and defends himself in Parliament with several credible witnesses. Bain had a very weak case, however the politics in the governing body forced Cooke's new company to settle with the angry Scott and Bain received a hefty settlement of 7,500 pounds from the new company. This left Wheatstone in a very uncomfortable position. It was because of this that Wheatstone stayed on as the scientific adviser but was never paid for his duties.
Building on Wheatstone's Work
If this were not bad enough, Alexander Bain went on to steal ideas and intellectual property from Wheatstone in 1840 and conceptualized a picture transmitter and receiver based on pendulum architecture. A metal plate of the image to be transmitted is scanned by a pendulum; then the electrical current transmits the image over the wire to the receiving pendulum on the other end; when that pendulum is close to the metal, a matching pendulum uses the electrical current to print out the image on chemically treated paper which changes color. Clocks control the device of course. Through he never constructs the device he improves on the plan in 1846 by calling for the transmission of the message using punched paper instead of chemically treated paper.
Frederick Bakewell deconstructs and reconstructs Alexander Bain's picture phone and creates a new and more efficient picture phone. The picture is painted on a conducting roller with shellac to another roller. Bakewell's invention is a reconstruction of Alexander Bain's picture phone with two major alterations. First, Bakewell replaces the pendulum mechanism with a rotating drum and then removes Bain's metal figures and substuites them with shellac. The issue of synchronizing the drums is very problematic. Frederick Bakewell patents the device but never seeks to sell it commercially. Others would continue to build on Wheatstone's work. In 1846 Werner von Siemens improves Wheatstone's telegraph by making it self-acting. This is accomplished by adding "make or break contacts".
In1846, Joseph Henry was elected as the first secretary of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. and stayed there for the rest of his career. He also became head of the Academy of Sciences in 1868 and also stayed on there until his death in 1878
The Year of Revolutions
Ireland's potato crops fail causing the deaths of 1 million with another 1 million leaving the country in "coffin ships" to try and escape the great hunger. The Irish Famine started in 45 and peeked in the winter of 46-47 and continued until 1851. The misery of the Irish people was not far behind that of the rest of the bourgeoisie throughout Europe. It was this discontent across Europe, which sparked the revolutions of 1848. Governments of Frankfurt, Poland, France, Italy, Prague, Hungary, and Vienna were blamed for the harsh living conditions, which affected most of the population. This forced the issues of basic human rights to the foreground, which started socio-economic changes throughout Europe. In this year of revolutions Karl Marx writes "The Communist Manifesto" and gains notoriety. The year before Marx's text the original German manifesto which included parts of Engels draft, "Principles of Communism" was published anonymously in London toting the slogan "Workers of all countries unite!"
While Europe was in turmoil the United States was booming. The Mexican American War had just ended giving the United States rule over the American southwest. A gold rush in California was well underway as record number of Europeans immigrated seeking the promise of opportunity, which they could shape, into a new bountiful way of life.