He intended to publish his results and allow others to freely make use of them.
Cooke's earlier ideas for a mechanical telegraph (involving a clockwork mechanism with an electromagnetic detent) were largely abandoned.
In January 1837 Cooke proposed a design for a 60-code telegraph to the directors of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway.
The receiver consisted of a number of needles which could be moved by electromagnetic coils to point to letters on a board.
This feature was liked by early users who were unwilling to learn codes, and employers who did not want to invest in staff training.
Cooke and Wheatstone had their first commercial success with a telegraph installed on the Great Western Railway over the 13 miles (21 km) from Paddington station to West Drayton in 1838.
Indeed, this was the first commercial telegraph in the world. The cables were originally installed underground in a steel conduit.The Blackwall Tunnel Railway (another rope-hauled application) was equipped with the Cooke and Wheatstone telegraph when it opened in 1840, and many others followed.In September 1845 the financier John Lewis Ricardo and Cooke formed the Electric Telegraph Company.A system was needed to signal to an engine house at Camden Town to start hauling the carriages back up the incline to the waiting locomotive.As at Liverpool, the electric telegraph was in the end rejected in favour of a pneumatic system with whistles.The change was motivated by the economic need to reduce the number of telegraph wires used, which was related to the number of needles.