Guglielmo Marconi (1874-1937)

Guglielmo Marconi was born in Bologna on 25 April 1874. His mother was a member of the Jameson whiskey dynasty.

As a young man, he became interested in the possibility of wireless transmission and successful sent wireless signals across his father’s estate at Pontecchio, near Bologna, in 1895. The following year, he went to England to develop his invention and set up the Wireless Telegraph and Signal Company (better known as Marconi) in 1897. In December 1901 he was able to send a signal from Cornwall to Newfoundland.

Between 1902 and 1912, Marconi developed the receiver, a directional aerial and a method of producing continuous waves. After serving in the Italian Navy during the First World War, he developed short wave long range wireless. He also introduced public broadcasting, the Marconi station becoming part of the BBC when it was founded in 1922.

In the 1930s he invented the microwave radio beacon and worked on radar. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1909, and raised to the Italian nobility as a Marchese (Marquis) in 1929. Marconi died in Rome on 20 July 1937.