Guglielmo Marconi


Guglielmo Marconi : biography

25 April 1874 – 20 July 1937

In the summer of 1895 Marconi moved his experimentation outdoors. After increasing the length of the transmitter and receiver antennas, and arranging them vertically, and positioning the antenna so that it touched the ground, the range increased significantly.Marconi, "" Nobel Lectures. Physics 1901–1921. Amsterdam: Elsevier Publishing Company, 1967: 196–222. p. 206. Soon he was able to transmit signals over a hill, a distance of approximately . By this point he concluded that with additional funding and research, a device could become capable of spanning greater distances and would prove valuable both commercially and militarily.

Marconi wrote to the ministry of Post and Telegraphs, which at the time was under the direction of the honorable Pietro Lacava, explaining his wireless telegraph machine and asking for funding. He never received a response to his letter which was eventually dismissed by the minister who wrote "to the Longara" on the document, referring to the insane asylum on via della Lungara in Rome.Luigi Solari, Guglielmo Marconi e la Marina Militare Italiana, Rivista Marittima, febbraio 1948

In 1896, Marconi spoke with his family friend Carlo Gardini, the United States consulate in Bologna, about leaving Italy to go to England. Gardini wrote a letter to the Ambassador of Italy in London, Annibale Ferrero, explaining who Marconi was and about this extraordinary discoveries. In his response, ambassador Ferrero advised them not to reveal the results until after they had obtained the copyrights. He also encouraged him to come to England where he believed it would be easier to find the necessary funds to convert the findings from Marconi’s experiment into a practical use. Finding little interest in his work in Italy, in early 1896 at the age of 21, Marconi traveled to London, accompanied by his mother, to seek support for his work; Marconi spoke fluent English in addition to Italian. While there, he gained the interest and support of William Preece, the Chief Electrical Engineer of the British Post Office.

The apparatus that Marconi possessed at that time was similar to that of one in 1882 by A. E. Dolbear, of Tufts College, which used a spark coil generator and a carbon granular rectifier for reception.Alfred Thomas Story, . 1904. p. 58. A plaque on the outside of BT Centre commemorates Marconi’s first public transmission of wireless signals from that site. A series of demonstrations for the British government followed—by March 1897, Marconi had transmitted Morse code signals over a distance of about across Salisbury Plain. On 13 May 1897, Marconi sent the first ever wireless communication over open sea. The experiment, based in Wales, witnessed a message transversed over the Bristol Channel from Flat Holm Island to Lavernock Point in Penarth, a distance of . The message read "Are you ready".BBC Wales, The transmitting equipment was almost immediately relocated to Brean Down Fort on the Somerset coast, stretching the range to .

From his Fraserburgh base, he transmitted the first long-distance, cross-country wireless signal to Poldhu in Cornwall.

Impressed by these and other demonstrations, Preece introduced Marconi’s ongoing work to the general public at two important London lectures: "Telegraphy without Wires", at the Toynbee Hall on 11 December 1896; and "Signaling through Space without Wires", given to the Royal Institution on 4 June 1897.

Numerous additional demonstrations followed, and Marconi began to receive international attention. In July 1897, he carried out a series of tests at La Spezia in his home country, for the Italian government. A test for Lloyds between Ballycastle and Rathlin Island, Ireland, was conducted on 6 July 1898. The English channel was crossed on 27 March 1899, from Wimereux, France to South Foreland Lighthouse, England, and in the autumn of 1899, the first demonstrations in the United States took place, with the reporting of the America’s Cup international yacht races at New York.