Success Story: Guglielmo Marconi and his Radio Invention

Guglielmo Marconi was an Italian inventor and electrical engineer. Born on April 25, 1874 in Bologna, Italy, he is generally considered the inventor of radio and the co-founder of Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company.

Guglielmo Marconi
Guglielmo Marconi (Credit:

Guglielmo Marconi was the son of an aristocratic landowner. He grew up in England under the care of his Irish mother who belonged to a family of businessmen. Upon returning to Italy at the age of 18, he attended lectures in physics at the University of Bologna. Later, he went to study at a technical school where he investigated previous works in electromagnetic wave, lightning, electricity and radio transmission.

After graduation, Guglielmo Marconi began experimenting on a system of communication using radio waves. Using crude apparatus, he a built a rudimentary signaling system. In 1896, he moved to London where he obtained a patent for his system that same year. After a series of successful tests which attracted much attention from the press, he and his engineer-cousin Jameson Davis founded The Wireless Telegraph & Signal Company which was later renamed Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company.

In 1899, Guglielmo Marconi set up a wireless station in Southern England and demonstrated the first wireless communication over open seas to France, a distance of 50 kilometers. It also equipped British Navy ships with the same equipment and they were able to communicate with each other even at a distance of over a hundred kilometers. That same year, American Marconi Company was established.

In 1900, Guglielmo founded Marconi International Marine Communication Company, Ltd. to install and operate wireless telegraphy between ships and land stations. The following year, another milestone was achieved when he successfully installed trans-Atlantic communications signal between England and Canada, thus proving to his critics and other skeptics that his equipment is applicable over long distances. In the following years, he kept improving his transmitters and receivers such that every continent can now send and receive communication signals. He obtained contracts to build the communication systems between Great Britain and areas of the British empire.

In 1909, Guglielmo Marconi was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics with Karl Braun. Guglielmo died in 1937 at the age of 63. He married twice and had five children.

See also: List of inventors and their inventions


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