42 Facts About Marconi


Guglielmo Giovanni Maria Marconi, 1st Marquis of Marconi was an Italian inventor and electrical engineer, known for his creation of a practical radio wave-based wireless telegraph system.

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In 1929, Marconi was ennobled as a Marchese by King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy, and, in 1931, he set up Vatican Radio for Pope Pius XI.

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Marconi did not attend school as a child and did not go on to formal higher education.

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Marconi's family hired additional tutors for Guglielmo in the winter when they would leave Bologna for the warmer climate of Tuscany or Florence.

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Marconi noted an important mentor was professor Vincenzo Rosa, a high school physics teacher in Livorno.

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Righi permitted Marconi to attend lectures at the university and to use the University's laboratory and library.

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At the age of 20, Marconi began to conduct experiments in radio waves, building much of his own equipment in the attic of his home at the Villa Griffone in Pontecchio, Italy, with the help of his butler, Mignani.

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Marconi built on Hertz's original experiments and, at the suggestion of Righi, began using a coherer, an early detector based on the 1890 findings of French physicist Edouard Branly and used in Lodge's experiments, that changed resistance when exposed to radio waves.

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Late one night, in December 1894, Marconi demonstrated a radio transmitter and receiver to his mother, a set-up that made a bell ring on the other side of the room by pushing a telegraphic button on a bench.

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Marconi developed devices, such as portable transmitters and receiver systems, that could work over long distances, turning what was essentially a laboratory experiment into a useful communication system.

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Marconi came up with a functional system with many components:.

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Marconi tried different arrangements and shapes of antenna but even with improvements he was able to transmit signals only up to one half-mile, a distance Oliver Lodge had predicted in 1894 as the maximum transmission distance for radio waves.

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Breakthrough came in the summer of 1895, when Marconi found that much greater range could be achieved after he raised the height of his antenna and, borrowing from a technique used in wired telegraphy, grounded his transmitter and receiver.

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Marconi applied to the Ministry of Post and Telegraphs, then under the direction of Maggiorino Ferraris, explaining his wireless telegraph machine and asking for funding, but never received a response.

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In 1896, Marconi spoke with his family friend Carlo Gardini, Honorary Consul at the United States Consulate in Bologna, about leaving Italy to go to Great Britain.

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Marconi encouraged Marconi to come to Britain, where he believed it would be easier to find the necessary funds to convert his experiments into practical use.

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Marconi made the first demonstration of his system for the British government in July 1896.

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Marconi set up an experimental base at the Haven Hotel, Sandbanks, Poole Harbour, Dorset, where he erected a 100-foot high mast.

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Marconi became friends with the van Raaltes, the owners of Brownsea Island in Poole Harbour, and his steam yacht, the Elettra, was often moored on Brownsea or at The Haven Hotel.

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Marconi purchased the vessel after the Great War and converted it to a seaborne laboratory from where he conducted many of his experiments.

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Marconi had sailed to the U S at the invitation of The New York Herald newspaper to cover the America's Cup international yacht races off Sandy Hook, New Jersey.

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At the turn of the 20th century, Marconi began investigating a means to signal across the Atlantic to compete with the transatlantic telegraph cables.

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Marconi established a wireless transmitting station at Marconi House, Rosslare Strand, County Wexford, in 1901 to act as a link between Poldhu in Cornwall, England, and Clifden in Connemara, County Galway, Ireland.

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Marconi soon made the announcement that the message was received at Signal Hill in St John's, Newfoundland, on 12 December 1901, using a 500-foot kite-supported antenna for reception—signals transmitted by the company's new high-power station at Poldhu, Cornwall.

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In 1901, Marconi built a station near South Wellfleet, Massachusetts, that sent a message of greetings on 18 January 1903 from United States President Theodore Roosevelt to King Edward VII of the United Kingdom.

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Marconi began to build high-powered stations on both sides of the Atlantic to communicate with ships at sea, in competition with other inventors.

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When Carpathia docked in New York, Marconi went aboard with a reporter from The New York Times to talk with Bride, the surviving operator.

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On 18 June 1912, Marconi gave evidence to the Court of Inquiry into the loss of the Titanic regarding the marine telegraphy's functions and the procedures for emergencies at sea.

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In 1914, Marconi was made a Senator in the Senate of the Kingdom of Italy and appointed Honorary Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order in the UK.

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Marconi attained the rank of lieutenant in the Italian Royal Army and of commander in the Regia Marina.

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Marconi died in Rome on 20 July 1937 at age 63, following the ninth, fatal, heart attack, and Italy held a state funeral for him.

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In 1943, Marconi's elegant sailing yacht, the Elettra, was commandeered and refitted as a warship by the German Navy.

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Marconi was a friend of Charles van Raalte and his wife Florence, the owners of Brownsea Island; and of Margherita, their daughter, and in 1904 he met her Irish friend, The Hon.

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On 16 March 1905, Beatrice O'Brien and Marconi were married, and spent their honeymoon on Brownsea Island.

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In 1913, the Marconi family returned to Italy and became part of Rome society.

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On 12 June 1927 Marconi went on to marry Maria Cristina Bezzi-Scali, the only daughter of Francesco, Count Bezzi-Scali.

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Marconi was baptised Catholic but had been brought up as a member of the Anglican Church.

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On 12 June 1927, Marconi married Maria Cristina in a civil service, with a religious ceremony performed on 15 June.

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For unexplained reasons, Marconi left his entire fortune to his second wife and their only child, and nothing to the children of his first marriage.

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Marconi wanted to personally introduce in 1931 the first radio broadcast of a Pope, Pius XI, and did announce at the microphone: "With the help of God, who places so many mysterious forces of nature at man's disposal, I have been able to prepare this instrument which will give to the faithful of the entire world the joy of listening to the voice of the Holy Father".

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Marconi was an apologist for fascist ideology and actions such as the Italian invasion of Ethiopia in the Second Italo-Abyssinian War.

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In 2002 researcher Annalisa Capristo found documents in the archives of Rome which showed that during his time as the President of the Royal Academy of Italy, Marconi had marked by hand Jewish applicants records with an "E", where in the Italian language word for Jew is "Ebreo".

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