Guglielmo Marconi, the father of modern radio

Guglielmo Marconi,  memorial obilisk at Poldu

Guglielmo Marconi, the father of modern radio communications, used his radio station in Poldhu, Cornwall to transmit radio messages worldwide.

Guglielmo Marconi was born at Bologna, Italy, on April 25, 1874, the second son of Giuseppe Marconi, an Italian country gentleman, and Annie Jameson, daughter of Andrew Jameson of Daphne Castle in the County Wexford, Ireland (she was also the granddaughter of the founder of the Jameson & Sons Distillery). He was educated privately in Italy at Bologna, Florence and Leghorn.

In 1895 he succeeded in sending wireless signals over a distance of one and a half miles at his father's country estate at Pontecchio. In 1896 he went to England to further his work, and later in 1896 was granted the world's first patent for a system of wireless telegraphy. He demonstrated his system successfully in London, on Salisbury Plain and across the Bristol Channel. In 1899 he established wireless communication between across the English Channel.

In 1900 he took out his patent No. 7777 for "tuned or syntonic telegraphy" and in an effort to prove that wireless waves were not affected by the curvature of the Earth, he transmitted the first wireless signals across the Atlantic between Poldhu, Cornwall, and St. John's, Newfoundland, a distance of 2100 miles. The signals were sent in Morse code on 12 December 1901. There is some doubt as to whether this morse signal, or just static was heard. But full messages were certainly sent within a few months of this.

In December 1902 he transmitted the first complete messages to Poldhu from Nova Scotia, and later Massachusetts. In 1907 in the opening of the first transatlantic commercial service between Glace Bay and Clifden, Ireland.

Nobel Prize for Physics, which in 1909.

In 1914 he joined the Italian forces for World War I. He was awarded the Italian Military Medal in 1919 in recognition of his war service.

Trials was conducted in 1923 between experimental installations at the Poldhu Station and in Marconi's yacht "Elettra" cruising in the Atlantic and Mediterranean.

In 1935 in Italy, gave a practical demonstration of the principles of radar, the coming of which he had first foretold in a lecture to the American Institute of Radio Engineers in New York in 1922.

In 1905 he married the Hon. Beatrice O'Brien, daughter of the 14th Baron Inchiquin. He sought a messy marriage annulment and suffered heart trouble. On 15 June 1927 he married Maria Cristina Bezzi-Scali; Mussolini was best man (Marconi had joined the fascists in 1923).

He had one son and two daughters by his first and one daughter by his second wife. His recreations were hunting, cycling and motoring.

In 1935 he was banned from the BBC by Sir John Reith - somewhat ironical for Marconi the founder of broadcasting.

Marconi died in Rome on July 20, 1937. By the time Marconi died in 1937, he had not invented anything new for quite some time. However, his vision of wireless had changed the nature of communication in the twentieth century. The day after his death wireless operators all over the world shut down their transmitters for two minutes of global silence.

Books on Marconi

Marconi Calling

Marconi Centre, Poldhu

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