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Marconi Timeline


Guglielmo Marconi is born in Bologna, Italy, on 25 April.
Guglielmo Marconi

Marconi as a young man (Marconi plc)


BBC Radio Cornwall's Matt Pengelly: "Marconi had a privileged upbringing"


Marconi begins work in England on his wireless system and is granted the world's first wireless telegraphy patent.
First Marconi system

First Marconi system, 1896 (UCL)


Marconi succeeds in transmitting the letter 's' in Morse code by radio telegraph across the Atlantic from Cornwall, England, to Newfoundland in Canada.

The first transatlantic radio signal was received in Newfoundland via an aerial held aloft by a kite (Marconi plc)

The Marconi Centre at Poldhu commemorates the Italian's achievements. Matt Pengelly reports


Marconi's wireless is used to penetrate the disguise of Dr Crippen and his companion Miss Le Neve aboard the transatlantic liner in which they were escaping to America after the murder of Mrs Crippen in London.
Weekly Dispatch

The ship's captain contacted Scotland Yard via wireless (Marconi plc)

Marconi's work opened up international communication. Matt Pengelly reports


The Titanic disaster, 14 April. Marconi narrowly misses travelling on the Titanic during her maiden voyage, having joined an earlier ship to America. Those who were saved on the Titanic survived because of wireless, which was used to raise the alert.
The Titanic

The Titanic leaves Southampton on her maiden voyage


The first regular radio broadcasts take place.
Early radio

Vintage wireless from the 1950s


Marconi dies on the 20 July at the age of 63.
Memorial to Marconi

Memorial to Marconi at Poldhu, Cornwall

Sir Ambrose Fleming - whose equipment was used in the Atlantic experiment - talking about the early days of wireless


Television starts to take over from radio.
Early BBC Television studio

Early BBC Television studio


Goonhilly, one of the largest commercial Earth stations in the world, opens in Cornwall, a few kilometres from where Marconi sent the first signal across the Atlantic.

Goonhilly pioneered television transmissions across the Atlantic

First attempt to receive pictures from America at Goonhilly via Telstar in 1962
The first live TV picture across the Atlantic


Telstar 1 is launched on 10 July by a Delta rocket from the US space base of Cape Canaveral and relays radio signals via Goonhilly for the first live transatlantic television broadcasts.

Telstar's equipment could handle only one black-and-white television channel

Project Telstar: BBC Television archive from 1962


Twelve nations form Intelsat (International Telecommunications Satellite Organisation), to develop a global communications network.


Intelsat launches Intelsat 1, the first commercial satellite in geostationary orbit, nicknamed Early Bird.

BBC Television broadcast via the early bird satellite launched in 1965


Satellite phones allow people to communicate from remote areas and war zones.
Satellite phone

Satellite phones allow BBC correspondents to report from Afghanistan

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