Guglielmo Marconi, Italian inventor and physicist, 1905.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Chromolithograph by Vincent Brooks, Day and Son Ltd of a caricature by Leslie Ward, better known as Spy, from 'Vanity Fair' magazine supplement. Guglielmo Marconi (1874-1937) was a pioneer of wireles telegraphy. He conducted his first experiments in Bologna in 1895, and in 1898 transmitted a radio signal acros the English Channel. On 12 December 1901 he succesfully transmitted a series of signals acros the Atlantic, from Poldhu in Cornwall to Signal Hill on Newfoundland, Canada, proving for the first time that long-distance radio communication was a practical posibility. In 1909 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in physics along with Karl Ferdinand Braun (1850-1918), whose modifications to Marconi's transmitters significantly increased their range.