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Great Engineers & Scientists

In 1676, Sir Isaac Newton wrote "If I have seen further it is by standing on ye shoulders of Giants." In this blog, we take Newton's words to heart, and recognize the many great engineers and scientists upon whose shoulders we stand.

So who do you think of when you hear "Great Engineer"? Let us know! Submit a few paragraphs about that person and we'll add him or her to the pantheon. Please provide a citation for the material that you submit so that we can verify it. Please note - it has to be original material. We cannot publish copywritten material or bulk text taken from books or other sites (including Wikipedia).

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Guglielmo Marconi

Posted March 02, 2006 8:40 AM
Pathfinder Tags: April 25 July 20

Guglielmo Marconi was born at Bologna, Italy, April 25, 1874. His father, Giuseppe Marconi, was an Italian country gentleman, and his mother was Annie Jameson of Daphne Castle in Ireland. Marconi was privately educated at Bologna, Florence, and Leghorn and developed an interest in Electromagnetism at an early age. Inspired by the work of Heinrich Hertz, who had demonstrated the creation of electromagnetic waves from an electric spark, Marconi began laboratory experiments at his father's country estate at Pontecchio in 1895 to send signals over these electromagnetic waves. Within a year he succeeded in sending wireless signals over a distance of one and a half miles.

In 1896, Marconi brought his device to England where he met Sir William Preece, Engineer in Chief of the Post Office, and later that year was granted a patent for wireless telegraphy. In 1897 Marconi formed The Wireless Telegraph & Signal Company Limited, later renamed Marconi's Wireless Telegraph Company Limited. In 1899 Marconi established wireless communication between France and England across the English Channel. In 1900 he received a patent for Tuned or Syntonic Telegraphy. In 1901 he transmitted the first wireless signals across the Atlantic Ocean between Poldhu Cornwall and St. John's, Newfoundland (2100 miles). In 1909 he shared the Nobel Prize in Physics with Professor Karl Braun in recognition of their contributions to the development of wireless telegraphy.

In 1912 he patented a "timed spark" system for generating continuous waves. From 1914 till the end of WWI, Marconi served in the Italian army and later the Navy. In 1919 he received the Italian Military Medal for his military service. In the 1930s Marconi studied the propagation of shorter waves resulting in the first microwave radiotelephone link between Vatican City and the Pope's summer residence at Castel Gandolfo. In 1935 Marconi gave a practical demonstration of the principles of radar, which he had foretold in an earlier speech in 1922. Marconi died in Rome on July 20, 1937, he was 63 years old.

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#1

Marconi did not invent radio transmission

03/02/2006 9:42 PM

Nicola Tesla is the true father of radio transmission!

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#4
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Re: Marconi did not invent radio transmission

08/28/2007 10:55 AM

Here is a little more info on the subject at hand. http://www.marconiusa.org/marconi/

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#2

Guglielmo Marconi

03/04/2006 10:52 AM

I would agree that Marconi did nor "invent" wireless but what he did perfect may never be known and that is the espinage use of radio. Maurice Wright became a Marconi engineer working with GM in England in 1912 (and was later Engineer in Chief when Marconi returned to Italy. Two days before the outbreak of hostilities in August of 1914, at the Marcon Lab on Hall Street Chelmsford they received German wireless traffic (Italy and UK were allies in that war. (see Peter Wright, SPYCATCHER (Dell, New York, 1988, ISBN 0-440-20132-2) at p. 10). After WWI intercept services and intelligence functions shrank. There were, however, soon untoward "consequences of the peace" (to use Lord Keynes' phrase). As wireless and radio came to play a part in the unfolding events, so did radio interception. The Brittish continue to monitor and decrypt, especially Soviet subversion in the 1920s. Marconi offered to build at his own cost a world radio link from Grimsby (UK) to Sydney (Australia) capable of 250 words/min for 12 hrs/day using less than 20kilowatts. It is this espionage work that may have caused the suspicious death of GM in Italy in 1937 during the Spanish Civil War. In October, 1919 the English organized the Government Code and Cipher School (GCCS) amalgamating Room 40 of the Admiralty and Military Intelligence. To support its work, the English formed the Royal Corps of Signals, which in conjunction with Admiralty monitoring, provided the messages for the codebreakers. (SIGINT, 98ff). The British Secret Service also took to putting its agents aboard merchant ships as Marconi wireless operators, when particular ports of call were of interest. (SPYCATCHER, 13).

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#3
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Re:Guglielmo Marconi

03/06/2006 9:35 AM

Great work. When we update the full bio later this week, we'll include some of this information.

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#5

Re: Guglielmo Marconi

09/28/2009 10:04 AM

I would like to know more about Guglielmo Marconis father.Who was his father and mother .And do you know if he had any brothers and sisters.We want to know more about Gugliemos father.

Thank you

Kathy Marconi Boody

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