Guglielmo Marconi

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Marconi, Guglielmo


Born Apr. 25, 1874, in Bologna; died July 20, 1937, in Rome. Italian radio engineer and entrepreneur.

Marconi received no formal education. He acquired his basic knowledge of electromagnetic waves from the Italian physicist A. Righi, under whose supervision he studied physics during his youth. He conducted preliminary experiments on signaling by means of electromagnetic waves at the estate of his father, who was a major landowner. In 1896 he traveled to Great Britain, where the Post Office and Admiralty became interested in his instruments. In June 1896 he applied for a patent for “improvements in the transmission of electric pulses and signals and apparatus for such transmission.” He kept the operating principle and the design of his apparatus secret until the British patent was granted (July 1897). In this patent the principle of operation of the wireless electrical communication system and the circuit of the radio receiver were identical to those demonstrated by the Russian physicist A. S. Popov on May 7, 1895, at a meeting of the Physics Division of the Russian Physicochemical Society and subsequently published in the society’s journal in August 1895 and January 1896.

Marconi succeeded in calling the attention of business circles in Great Britain to radiotelegraphy; in 1897 he organized a large joint-stock company (the Marconi Company), in which he invited many prominent scientists and engineers to work. His great material resources made it possible for him to achieve significant results in the practical realization of radiotelegraphy. In 1901 he established radio communication across the Atlantic Ocean. He was able to evaluate correctly the advances in radio engineering and to put them to practical use. The activity of Marconi and his company played an important role in the development of radio engineering and in the widespread use of radio as a means of communication. Marconi was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1909. Marconi also took part in politics: he was a senator and a member of controlling bodies of the Italian Fascist party.


Izobretenie radio. A. S. Popov: Dokumenty i materialy. Moscow, 1966.
Hawks, Ellison. “Marconi Comes to England.” Wireless World, 1926, vol. 19, no. 15.
Solan, L. Marconi im Privatleben und bei der Arbeit. Leipzig, 1942.
Donaldson, F. The Marconi Scandal. London, 1962.


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