A joint patent was taken out for their inventions, including the five-needle telegraph of Wheatstone, and an alarm worked by a relay, in which the current, by dipping a needle into mercury, completed a local circuit, and released the detent of a clockwork.
On discovering this, Madame Cora cut their wages, not by frankly returning to the old basis, but by suddenly beginning to charge the girls for thread and needles. She made them pay her 2 cents for every needle. Thread on a five-needle machine, sometimes with two eyes in each of the needles, stitches up very rapidly.
Without the telegraph he could not have been apprehended. But the telegraph was available at this point, and his description was telegraphed ahead and the police in London were instructed to arrest him upon his arrival. "He is dressed as a Quaker," ran the message. There was no Q in the alphabet of-the five-needle instrument, and so the sender spelled Quaker, Kwaker.
He had already exhibited a crude set when he came to Wheatstone, realizing his own lack of scientific knowledge. The two men finally entered into partnership, Wheatstone contributing the scientific and Cooke the business ability to the new enterprise. The partnership was arranged late in 1837, and a patent taken out on Wheatstone's five-needle telegraph.
The five-needle telegraph, which was mainly, if not entirely, due to Wheatstone, was similar to that of Schilling, and based on the principle enunciated by Ampere that is to say, the current was sent into the line by completing the circuit of the battery with a make and break key, and at the other end it passed through a coil of wire surrounding a magnetic needle free to turn round its centre.
'He is in the garb of a Quaker, ran the message, 'with a brown coat on, which reaches nearly to his feet. There was no 'Q' in the alphabet of the five-needle instrument, and the clerk at Slough began to spell the word 'Quaker' with a 'kwa'; but when he had got so far he was interrupted by the clerk at Paddington, who asked him to 'repent. The repetition fared no better, until a boy at Paddington suggested that Slough should be allowed to finish the word.
In 1837 Charles Wheatstone and William Cooke took out a patent for the world's first Five-needle Telegraph, which was installed between Paddington railway station in west London and West Drayton station a few miles away. The five copper wires required for this system were embedded in blocks of wood.