William Fothergill Cooke


William Fothergill Cooke : biography

4 May 1806 – 25 June 1879

Early instruments Kerby made for Cooke were Cooke’s "Alarums," or alarm designs; some of which are clearly identified on drawings found in the Cooke journal pages.

The journal pages contain approximately one hundred separate sketches and drawings by Cooke pertaining to the first perfected telegraph and telegraph systems in the world. Yet, the journal does not just stop at telegraphy. It even goes beyond, almost in the manner of the Frenchman Jules Verne, whose books spoke of fax machines and flying machines decades later. It was Verne’s conceptualizations that became ushered-in as reality in the twentieth-century. One notable journal drawing in the Cooke journal is of a two passenger automobile with a steering wheel, driven by a tiny steam engine – circa 1840!

Most significantly, the very first "sketches" for electric "key boards," dated 1840 are found in the journal executed by Cooke. The keyboard consists of thirty (30) finger keys – and clearly represents the true genesis of the internet. Even today, some 98% of all computer electronic communications in one way or the other is transmitted primarily by undersea cable and / or fiber optics and utilizes still, an electric keyboard.

The Cooke journal is marked in Cooke’s hand with several entries for the initials of "F.K." or the name "Frederick A. Kerby," "F. A. Kerby;" or "F. Kerby." During the arbitration proceedings between William Fothergill Cooke and Charles Wheatstone, the latter who was co-patentee with Cooke on the telegraph in England, Frederick Kerby acted as Cooke’s key witness and gave testimony for the eventual published record of the proceedings, which currently were made available as a two part reprint in May 2011, by the University of Michigan.

Eventually, Kerby would emigrate to the United States in late 1842, and bring the Cooke journal with him. Approximately over one hundred fifty years later, in the 1990s – the Cooke journal was discovered in the United States by author, historian and archivist Richard Warren Lipack. After this occurrence, the journal came to be referred to as the "Kerby Journal" by both the British Science Museum (London) and Richard Warren Lipack, as so many references to Kerby were found in the journal pages. When first found, all of this inferred that Frederick Kerby was the author of the Cooke journal.

However, the proper name for this journal discovery has become further defined in recent times; as "Codex Lipack." This formal designation followed the journal’s initial discovery or ‘finding,’ when final authentication of the manuscript journal as to being in Cooke’s own hand was formidably established by its discoverer; historian Lipack. This event occurred early in the year 2011, after nearly fifteen years of investigation, establishing beyond all doubt, who was the actual author of the "Kerby Journal." Finite authentication is presented with comparative authentication holograph exemplars, which all prove that William Fothergill Cooke is the father of electrical binary computer internet communications and is in fact the primary individual who created the first perfected commercial digital electrical communications system on Earth, still in use today.

It should be noted that William Fothergill Cooke had lost the fortune he had made in telegraphy and died in relative obscurity, and is today, relatively unknown.

Most interesting, one will find that the death of this man – one who created the very essence of modern electronic communications, was no less humble than when he started his quest. Plus, the cryptic discovery of Cooke’s journal in America, thousands of miles away from where it was created in Great Britain, adds even more humbleness to what shall forever seem a most enchanted story to many. The ‘lore’ behind the ‘discovery’ is most extraordinary.

Differences with Wheatstone

As inferred herein above, a priority dispute had arisen between Cooke and Wheatstone toward the end of 1840. The matter was simple. Cooke had become alarmed at seeing published information and accounts of the day citing Wheatstone as the sole inventor of the Cooke and Wheatstone telegraph system. Thus, a difference arose between Cooke and Wheatstone as to the share each held in the honour of inventing the telegraph.