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Marconi (1874)

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Guglielmo Marconi (1874)

image of Guglialmo Marconi in 1908

Source: Wikimedia Commons, author unknown (Public Domain)

image of worker at Marconi Company in England,1906

Source: Wikimedia Commons, author unknown (Public Domain)

Guglielmo Marconi was an Italian inventor and electrical engineer. He is recognized for his development of wireless telegraphy, also known as radio. Prior to Marconi's work, telegraph signals were sent through wires. Marconi was born on April 25, 1874 in Bologna, Italy. He showed an interest for science early in his life. Much of his studies were done privately. In 1894 Marconi began experimenting with wireless telegraphy. He based his work on Heinrich Hertz's work with electromagnets. Beginning with transmitting signals across a room, Marconi eventually was able to transmits signals across miles by grounding the transmitter and receiver. The Italian government was not interested in his work, so Marconi moved to England. During this time, he received his first patent regarding radio. Marconi's next goal was to send a message across the Atlantic. This was accomplished on December 12, 1901. He transmitted the letter "S" in Morse code. The success of this transmission opened scientific study in the atmosphere and the idea of an ionosphere. This technology became more well known as it was used in saving many lives aboard the troubled ships the Republic and the Titanic. This wireless technology became required on passenger ships. Marconi then began working on short-wave and microwave transmissions. Short-wave signals were cheaper and easier to operate.

In 1909 Marconi was awarded the Noble Prize in physics, which he shared with Karl F. Braun. In 1914 King George gave Marconi an honorary title of Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victoria Order. Marconi also received John Fritz Medal, an American engineering award. He died on July 20, 1937.