MARCONI – THE SCIENTIST WHO GAVE VOICE TO THE AIR
Hats off to Marconi, the scientist and inventor of Wireless Radio which had saved 705 lives when the ship, Luxury Liner, Titanic sank in 1912.
As majestic as it was named, the prestigious British ship Titanic, weighing 46,328 tons and measuring 882 feet from stem to stern, during her maiden voyage over the second biggest ocean, Atlantic, rammed against an ice berg and sank! There were about 2000 passengers on board. Death was certain to everyone. But then it was the Wireless Radio on the ship that sent an SOS message through a Wireless Radio brought a rescue ship, Carpathia on the scene that saved as many as 705 people!
Just what is a Wireless Radio? Who invented it and when?
It was Guglielmo Marconi, an Italian Scientist who invented it in the year 1895. He was born in Bologna, on April 24, 1874 to wealthy parents. Well educated, he had shown great interest in Physics and Electricity. Once, when he was holidaying in the Alps Mountain he stumbled on to a journal that said electricity and magnetic energy could travel in waves in the air.
He shut himself in his lab and he went on to work unceasingly for day and night. Skipped meals and missed sleep became part of his life! His ceaseless efforts rewarded. First he set a bell in the ground floor and from the third floor above where he had set up his lab; he pressed a button that had no connection to the bell. To his pleasant surprise the bell rang!
That was the beginning of a new chapter in his life. In 1895, Marconi spread his wings. From the lab, he transmitted a Morse Signal to the yonder hill. It worked again. But there already existed the submarine cable connecting across Atlantic. So, there was scant attention given to Marconi’s Wireless Radio. Even the P&T department turned a blind eye to it!
But a relentless Marconi went to London in 1896. There his invention was treated with a velvet glove. Two years later, he had set up his own company there, “Marconi’s Wireless & Signal Company.” The ships and lighthouse installed his radio set.
Encouraged, he gradually increased the range which reached to a distance of 300 km in 1901. The same year, the Navy signed a contract with him. Still working hard, Marconi, assisted by two men, experimented and demonstrated the world that the radio signal which he had sent was received 2, 700 km away across the Atlantic Ocean! This was a greatest triumph!
Still at it, on June 20, 1922 Marconi achieved another feat. This time it was the tiny transmitter. Through this device he sent radio waves as a beam of light. This later became the fathers of the microwave towers that relay TV pictures, ISD phone calls and data in the systems. He began to broadcast in the radio.
Once, in 1920, on board the ship, Elettra they hosted a dance party with the radio transmitting the orchestra playing far off from a London hotel!