Guglielmo Marconi

The son of Giuseppe Marconi and Annie Jameson, Guglielmo Marconi was born on 25 April 1874 in Bologna. At 18 months old, he and the family moved to Pontecchio Marconi, the place that would see him inextricably link his life to the area of the Bolognese Apennines.

Marconi is universally acknowledged to be one of the inventors of wireless radio transmission.

In Livorno, Marconi’s mother arranged for him to meet physics professor Vincenzo Rosa, the man who introduced young Guglielmo to electromagnetic waves, recently discovered by Hertz in 1891.

In 1895, from his family’s villa in Pontecchio, a 21-year old Marconi succeeded in his experiment to send a wireless telegraph, paving the way for modern radio transmission. However, the Italian state did not deem the young man’s discovery to be of interest and so his mother (who was of British origin) secured him some important work orders in England. Marconi moved to England until 1926, occasionally returning to Italy. The impact of his discoveries and his significant fame saw him awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1909.

During the First World War and the immediate post-war period, Marconi’s renown grew to the point that he became famous the world over.

Guglielmo Marconi returned to Italy in 1926 to receive an honorary degree in Bologna, and he then settled in Rome. His patents circulated around the world and, in 1931, he founded Radio Vaticana. In 1935, Marconi met with the three Ducati brothers, congratulating them on their efforts to produce and promote radio across the country.

Unfortunately, and for purely propagandist purposes, Fascism glorified the figure of Marconi, transforming him into a real idol. Once the Fascist tyranny was over, this backstory painted the Italian scientist in a negative light.

Guglielmo Marconi died on 20 July 1937 and was buried in Pontecchio, where his incredible adventure with radio transmission had begun.  

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