Inventor of Wireless Telegraphy
Guglielmo Marchese Marconi
Technology of Radio began as ‘wireless telegraphy’. However, it all started with
the discovery of ‘radio waves’ - electromagnetic waves that have the capacity to
transmit music, speech, pictures and other data invisibly through the air. Many
devices work by using electromagnetic waves including: radio, microwaves, cordless
phones, remote controlled toys, television broadcasts and more. The first radio
signal was sent by Guglielmo Marchese Marconi
an Italian inventor, in Italy in 1895.
Guglielmo Marconi inventor of Wireless Telegraphy
was born at Bologna, Italy, on April 25, 1874. He was educated privately at Bologna,
Florence and Leghorn. The young Marconi developed a deep interest in electrical
phenomena. When he read of the experiments of Hertz on electromagnetic waves, he
was obsessed with the idea that such waves could be used for transmitting information
without the need for the wire connection of the electric telegraph.
In 1894, Guglielmo Marchese Marconi began his
wireless telegraphy project by repeating some
of Hertz's experiments with a number of improvements. Marconi offered his wireless
communication system to the Italian government, but it was refused. In 1895, he
began laboratory experiments at his father's country estate at Pontecchio where
he developed apparatus which could send wireless signals over a distance of one
and a half miles.
Marconi took his apparatus to England where he was introduced to William Preece,
Engineer-in-Chief of the Post Office and later that year was granted the world's
first patent for a system of wireless telegraphy. He formed
Marconi’s Wireless Telegraph Company, Ltd., in London in July 1897. In
1899, he established communication across the English Channel between England and
France and in 1901, he communicated signals across the Atlantic Ocean between Poldhu,
in Cornwall, England and St. John's, in Newfoundland, Canada. His system was soon
adopted by the British and Italian navies and by 1907 it was so improved that transatlantic
wireless telegraph service was established for public use.
Between 1902 and 1912, he patented several new inventions. In 1902, during a voyage
on the American liner ‘Philadelphia’, he first demonstrated ‘daylight effect’ relative
to wireless communication and in the same year, patented his magnetic detector which
then became the standard wireless receiver for many years. In 1905, he patented
his horizontal directional aerial and in 1912 a ‘timed spark’ system for generating
continuous waves. He was awarded the Italian Military Medal in 1919 in recognition
of his war service.
In 1932, he discovered that still higher frequency waves (microwaves) could be received
at a point much farther below the optical horizon than had been predicted by any
theory. This phenomenon was exploited later in ‘scatter propagation’ circuits, which
added new reliability to communications in arctic regions.
Marconi was awarded honours by many countries and received, jointly with the German
physicist Karl Ferdinand Braun, the 1909 Nobel Prize in physics for his work in
wireless telegraphy. During World War I, he was in charge of the Italian wireless
service and developed short-wave transmission as a means of secret communication.
On 19th of July 1937, Marconi passed away and wireless stations around the world
agreed to close down their transmitters for a short time as a mark of respect. Never
again was the world to know such a total radio silence, as it paid its respects
to Guglielmo Marconi, the man whose determination
had made it all possible.