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Guglielmo Marconi's Role in the Developement of Wireless Technology

Updated on October 20, 2014

Guglielmo Marconi

Inspired by the work of Heinrich Hertz with radio waves, Guglielmo Marconi (1874-1937) of Italy, decided to pursue the task of creating a wireless technology and turning it into a reality in the year of 1894. Marconi, at the mere age of twenty, was a self-educated Italian engineer, who realized and understood that the production of a successful wireless technology would significantly effect and change the processes of communication in such areas as the Military, commercial shipping, overseas communication, and more.

Eventually it would pave the way for how we use technology today to spread information and ideas.

If a way to send information over great distances could be discovered, it would change the face of communication and its abilities forever. At this time, telegraphs and telephones were in wide spread use, but their capabilities obviously were rather limited as they had a dependance on wires in order to function. Wires greatly reduced how far a communication was possible to travel, but also to how many people a message could actually reach.

Marconi Expands on Heinrich Hertz Experiments

Marconi began by expanding upon the experiments previously conducted by Heinrich Hertz, and making several large improvements to them. He made use of a Morse telegraph key by attaching it to a spark-gap transmitter, which created the possibility of sending out dot-dash signals, which are the basis of Morse Code.


These electrical impulses made their way into a machine called a Morse Inker, which is used by telegraph operators who would then record the dots and dashes onto thin strips of paper to be later translated.

Along with this initial breakthrough, Guglielmo made an additional, yet equally important discovery. By grounding his transmitter and receiver (attaching it to the earth) he developed the option of sending information and signals over much greater distances than ever possible before.

The Invention of Wireless Telegraphy

At first, many were doubtful of the exact magnitude of the discovery Marconi had accomplished, and thus refused to patent his invention. The belief was at the time that Wireless messages would be effected by the curvature of the earth, clearly that was later disproved.

Soon after though, he created a patent on wireless telegraphy, and slowly began to improve his success with this form of voiceless, point-to-point communication.

As intelligent and successful as he was, he limited his newly found technologies for use in military and commercial ships, seeing this wireless telegraphy was very similar to the telegraph and telephone functioning purposes; point-to-point communication. It was left up to new entrepreneurs and their hunger to explore how to utilize this patent for use in communicating everything from voice and music, to ideas and intelligence to the masses.

Marconi Wins the Nobel Prize for Physics


Guglielmo Marconi went on to win the Nobel prize for Physics in 1909, and was internationally recognized for his efforts.

Many may have heard about Marconi several times through out the course of their educational career. But few ever fully understand the magnitude of his success and what he was able to accomplish and create.

His determination to succeed despite the obstacles he encountered is admirable, as he succeeded to create the first wireless form of communication! Nowadays, wireless forms of communication are becoming largely widespread and desired amongst people all over the world.

In most technologically developed countries wireless technology is every where and in almost everything we encounter daily. We don't even think about it anymore, it has become our normal and we often overlook what we have at our access and where it all began.

Global Effect of Wireless Technology

No matter what differences we have between our culture, or location on the globe, consumers are craving wireless products and devices. Cellphones, wireless internet connections, and other modern technologies are becoming the “must-have” for this day and age.

It is hard to imagine the world and how it would be if this discovery had not been made yet. This sole aspect, has changed so many things worldwide and what we are capable of doing. It is simply amazing the change it has created, and even more so when you think about what the next big invention will be and how it will affect all of us.

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