The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Steinheil, Karl August

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search

STEINHEIL, stīn'hīl, Karl August, German physicist and astronomer: b. Rappoltsweiler, Alsace, 12 Oct. 1801; d. Munich, 12 Sept. 1870. After completing a course in law at the University of Erlangen, and courses in astronomy at Göttingen and Königsberg, he waa appointed to the chair of physics and mathematics in the University of Munich. He later entered the service of the Austrian government, becoming especially noted for his development and perfection of the telegraph system, a service which he also rendered to the Swiss government a few years later. In 1836 he built the first printing telegraph, invented an electromagnetic telegraph, the electrical clock, a special pyroscope, and brought out the first daguerreotype picture in Germany. He also invented several optical instruments, and in 1854 began the manufacture of optical, astronomical and photographic materials, and it was in his factory that the telescopes for the observatories of Upsala, Mannheim, Leipzig, etc., were made. Steinheilite or iolite, a transparent mineral, was named after him.