color painting of Marconi shortly after his arrival in England, 1896.

1895 - Guglielmo Marconi built his first successful spark transmitter at his Villa Grifone estate near Bologna, Italy, then improved his antenna and receiver to send signals at a distance of one mile across his estate.

1896 - After Italy rejected his invention, his Irish mother Annie told him to go to England in Feb., and Marconi demonstrated his wireless to the English Post Office across nine miles of the Salisbury Plain in July

1897 - Marconi received British Patent GB12039 on July 2, and founded his Wireless Telegraph and Signal Company. By Dec. he had built the world's first radio station on the Isle of Wright with a mast 120 ft. high.

1898 - Marconi returned to his homeland and demonstrated the wireless to the Italian navy at Spezia. His wireless was adopted quickly by navies of many countries and private shipping companies. The Boston Fruit Company (later became United Fruit Co.) put wireless on its banana boats in the Caribbean and by 1903 had the first radio network in Central America.

1899 - In July, The Royal Navy began to use wireless, as did the U. S. Navy in August. In November, the Boer War became the first conflict to use wireless in the field by the British Army.

1901 - On Dec. 12, Marconi transmitted the letter S from Poldhu, in Cornwall, England over 1800 miles to Signal Hill at St. Johns, Newfoundland. Radio became part of a global network of communication.

Titanic radio room for 1997 film
British field wireless set
Marconi (left) with Col. Bordeloni and 'Guido', both members of the Wireless Section of the Italian Artillery, during his time with the Italian Army during World War I.

1905 - Germany adopted the Morse code SOS for a distress signal by wireless.

1911 - German Telefunken began construction of the Sayville station on Long Island. The Germany company and Marconi fought a patent battle that was part of the pre-war arms race, finally resolved by 1914 with an agreement to share patents, and Marconi engineers visited the world's most powerful radio transmitter at Nauen near Berlin in July 1914, on the eve of war.

1912 - Titanic sunk Apr. 15 killing 1595 but 745 were picked up by nearby ships who heard the wireless distress messages from Jack Phillips, Chief Wireless Telegraphist aboard the Titanic, who stayed at his post for 2 hrs and 40 mins. and died when the ship sank.

1914 - When war began, the British government took control of Marconi stations and censored radio messages. The British cut the German cables and began military expeditions against German wireless stations in Africa and the Pacific.

1915 - In Jan., The British sent Capt. H. J. Round to build a wireless DF station in France to locate positions of German wireless transmissions. A network of DF stations was built in England by the end of 1916 to locate German aircraft and naval transmissions. Capt. Round located the German fleet by its radio transmissions May 30 and gave the British fleet and advantage in the Battle of Jutland. The method and extent of wireless intereceptions were kept secret during the war.

1917 - The British Royal Flying Corps began to equip planes with air-to-air continuous wave voice radio. By the end of the war, the RAF had put the radio on 600 planes, and had 1000 ground stations and 18,000 wireless operators.

1919 - Marconi was a delegate for Italy at the Paris Peace Talks and helped negotiate the Versaille Treaty.




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