Biography of Carl August von Steinheil


Carl August von Steinheil was a Swiss physicist who is known for hiselectric clock, telegraph device and optical instruments, particularly telescopes with silver covered mirrors.

Steinheil’s telegraph

In 1836 Steinheil devised a recording telegraph, in which the movable needles indicated the message by marking dots and dashes with printer’s ink on a ribbon of travelling paper, according to an artificial code in which the fewest signs were given to the commonest letters in the German language. With this apparatus the message was registered at the rate of six words a minute.

In 1839, the first electric clock is built by physicist Carl August Steinheil.

Steinheil was one of the first two (simultaneously with but independently of Foucault) to apply silvering to astronomical mirrors, in 1856.

Carl August Steinheil developed numerous physical instruments including spectroscopes. This picture shows a spectroscope constructed by Steinheil in ca. 1895.

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