Cited as the “Father of Radio,” Guglielmo Marconi was born in Bologna, Italy on April 25, 1874.
Inspired by the recent discovery of “electromagnetic waves,” Marconi began experimenting with wireless telegraphy in Italy in the early 1890s. In 1896, he secured the world’s first patent in radio telegraphy and demonstrated how the wireless telegraph could send coded messages throughout the air. The following year, he founded the Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company to offer wireless service to the public.
In 1899, Marconi brought his discoveries to America and founded American Marconi, a company that would influence the development of radio. By 1901, Marconi had developed the first practical radio-signaling system and made the first transoceanic transmission.
In 1909, Marconi won a Nobel Prize in Physics for his achievements. Ten years later, American Marconi and its patents were purchased by a new holding company, the Radio Corporation of America (RCA).
In 1912, following the sinking of the Titanic, survivors were rescued by the RMS Carpathia of the Cunard Line. Employed by the Marconi Company was David Sarnoff, the only person to receive the names of survivors immediately after the disaster via wireless technology. Wireless communications were reportedly maintained for 72 hours between the Carpathia and Sarnoff.
Although other inventors would follow in his footsteps, Marconi’s innovations took the crucial first steps towards making broadcast radio a reality.
Guglielmo Marconi died on July 20, 1937.
He was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1988.