Go back to article: A tale of two telegraphs: Cooke and Wheatstone’s differing visions of electric telegraphy

Figure 1

Colour photograph of Wheatstones Hatchment Dial which is set in wood organized in a diamond shape and marked with twenty letters

Wheatstone’s Hatchment Dial. This specimen is organised in a diamond shape and marked with twenty letters, the letters C, J, Q, U, X and Z being omitted to save the expense of an additional needle and associated wire. In the five-needle model described in Sheet I of the joint patent of 1837, letters were indicated by the deflections of two needles in contrary directions, while numerals (not shown in this specimen) were indicated by the deflection of only one needle, and required the addition of a sixth wire. At rest, the needles were in a neutral (vertical) position.