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Born on this date in 1874, Guglielmo Marconi (Wikipedia) was a prominent early inventor in the development of the technology, then called “wireless telegraphy,” that today we know as radio. Even today, Marconi is commonly remembered as “the inventor of radio,” although the priority of other inventors–notably Nikola Tesla–is fairly well established. The debate over who is rightfully credited for the invention of radio has become known as “The Great Radio Controversy” (Wikipedia). Even so, there is no debate that Marconi’s achievements as an engineer, inventor, and businessman are of historic significance. He shared the 1909 Nobel Prize in Physics with Karl Ferdinand Braun, “in recognition of their contributions to the development of wireless telegraphy.” Marconi died in 1937, aged 63.

Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and makezine.com. My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c’t – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.


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