Saturday, November 10, 2007

Guglielmo Marconi


Guglielmo Marconi, proved the feasibility of radio communication. He sent and received his first radio signal in Italy in 1895. By 1899 he flashed the first wireless signal across the English Channel and two years later received the letter "S", telegraphed from England to Newfoundland. This was the first successful transatlantic radiotelegraph message in 1902. Radio owes its development to two other inventions, the telegraph and the telephone, all three technologies are closely related. Radio technology began as "wireless telegraphy". Now we take for granted the use of microwaves beamed up to satellites in orbit above the Earth, something that Marconi himself couldn't had foreseen.


Marconi's wife was Beatrice O'Brien and she helped in the naming of the yacht. The first choice was Scintilla, pronounced in Italian as Shintilla, meaning spark. But Marconi was afraid that English-speaking persons would say . So Elettra was the choice. Elettro means amber, but since a ship is feminine, he modified the name to Elettra. The yacht was purchased and name in 1919. Marconi's second wife was Countess Cristina Bezzi Scali, who gave birth to Marconi's child, named Maria Elettra Elena Anna on July 30, 1930. Elettra means electricity in Greek.

Below a brief clip of "Marconi" on Elettra.

Marconi's only daughter, Princess Maria Elettra Elena Anna Marconi in a recently interview (by the Italian television) remembered her father. She recalls last trip with her father aboard the yacht Elettra.

Her father in that trip was experimenting with the extracting gold from the sea, and she helped her father in sorting out the tiny gold particles of green, yellow and red in different glass containers. She recall that her father before leaving the yacht, destroyed all the machines used for the experiment.

Her father researching a way to extract gold from the sea, it was something that sounded new to me.

Also in that interview, she talks about her mother. She recalls that her mother was really in love with her father. Her mother was a good pianist and taught her father to play the piano. She also remembered that in some receptions, her parents were playing the piano with four hands and they were really good at it.

Marconi, Guglielmo (1874-1937)

He was the originator of wireless telegraph signals and created means of overcoming many of the hurdles to the commercialization of wireless. Guglielmo Marconi was born at Bologna, Italy, on April 25, 1874, the second son of Giuseppe Marconi, an Italian country gentleman, and Annie Jameson. Marconi continued to experiment on improving radio. He eventually was able to send messages in specific directions and around the globe.

He also performed experiments with radar and with microwave, proving that microwaves could also travel beyond the horizon of the Earth.
In 1924 he set up a system of wireless stations that linked the British colonies around the world with England. He also set up radio service for the Vatican in Rome in 1931 and created the first microwave link so that the Pope’s messages could be broadcast live to the world, though they were given miles from the short wave transmitter. He received many honors, including sharing the Nobel Prize for physics in 1909. Failing health restricted Marconi’s activity for several of his last 10 years of life.

When he died in Rome of heart failure in 1937, he was accorded the unique tribute of a two-minute silence by all radio stations throughout the world. Never again was the world to know such a total radio silence, as it paid it's respects to Guglielmo Marconi, the man who's determination had made it all possible.

(clicking in the button below you can hear "Marconi" voice)

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