Monday, July 20, 2020

83 years ago today: Guglielmo Marconi dies of heart attack

Marconi (left) watches as antenna is raised with kite in Newfoundland
Unlike many inventors, Guglielmo Marconi lived to see the phenomenal development of his life's work in the years preceding his death.

When he graduated university in 1895, Marconi's father urged him to study music.

Fortunately, for us and the world, Marconi had other ideas and decided instead to study, experiment and tinker with invisible waves that he believed might prove useful.

By the time he died 42 years later, Marconi had seen the full and ongoing implementation of "wireless" in everyday life around the world, including:

  • 646 operating AM stations in the US
  • an experimental FM station in Alpine NJ (W2XMN)
  • SSB on the ham bands (began by W6DEI)

From silence to spark - and on to AM, SSB and FM in a few short decades - and Marconi saw it all. It must have been quite fulfilling for him.