Milestone-Proposal:Marconi First Wireless Experiments, 1894-1895
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Is the achievement you are proposing more than 25 years old?
Is the achievement you are proposing within IEEE’s fields of interest? (e.g. “the theory and practice of electrical, electronics, communications and computer engineering, as well as computer science, the allied branches of engineering and the related arts and sciences” – from the IEEE Constitution)
Did the achievement provide a meaningful benefit for humanity?
Was it of at least regional importance?
Has an IEEE Organizational Unit agreed to pay for the milestone plaque(s)?
Has an IEEE Organizational Unit agreed to arrange the dedication ceremony?
Has the IEEE Section in which the milestone is located agreed to take responsibility for the plaque after it is dedicated?
Has the owner of the site agreed to have it designated as an Electrical Engineering Milestone? Yes
Year or range of years in which the achievement occurred:
Title of the proposed milestone:
Marconi First Wireless Experiments
Plaque citation summarizing the achievement and its significance:
In what IEEE section(s) does it reside?
IEEE Italy Section
IEEE Organizational Unit(s) which have agreed to sponsor the Milestone:
IEEE Organizational Unit(s) paying for milestone plaque(s):
IEEE Organizational Unit(s) arranging the dedication ceremony:
IEEE section(s) monitoring the plaque(s):
Please note: your email address and contact information will be masked on the website for privacy reasons. Only IEEE History Center Staff will be able to view the email address.
Street address(es) and GPS coordinates of the intended milestone plaque site(s):
Villa Griffone, Pontechio Marconi, Italy
Describe briefly the intended site(s) of the milestone plaque(s). The intended site(s) must have a direct connection with the achievement (e.g. where developed, invented, tested, demonstrated, installed, or operated, etc.). A museum where a device or example of the technology is displayed, or the university where the inventor studied, are not, in themselves, sufficient connection for a milestone plaque.
Please give the address(es) of the plaque site(s) (GPS coordinates if you have them). Also please give the details of the mounting, i.e. on the outside of the building, in the ground floor entrance hall, on a plinth on the grounds, etc. If visitors to the plaque site will need to go through security, or make an appointment, please give the contact information visitors will need.
The two plaques suggested are related to the two sites in which Marconi carried out his first experiments: in the garden of Villa Griffone (his family home, now the site of the Fundazione Guglielmo Marconi), where Marconi transmitted his wireless signals, and beyond the Celestini hill, where those signals were received. Villa Griffone, Marconi's family home in the second half of the 19th century, is now the site of the Guglielmo Marconi Foundation and of the Marconi Museum, which includes the young Marconi's laboratory, on the upper floor of the villa.
Are the original buildings extant?
Details of the plaque mounting:
How is the site protected/secured, and in what ways is it accessible to the public?
The villa has custodians and the Marconi Museum has a staff for guided visits (arranged by reservation)
Who is the present owner of the site(s)?
The Fondazione Guglielmo Marconi
A letter in English, or with English translation, from the site owner(s) giving permission to place IEEE milestone plaque on the property:
A letter or email from the appropriate Section Chair supporting the Milestone application:
What is the historical significance of the work (its technological, scientific, or social importance)?
Guglielmo Marconi's first experiments in wireless telegraphy marked the beginning of radio communication.
What obstacles (technical, political, geographic) needed to be overcome?
The technical system for wireless telegraphy needed fundamental improvements of the instruments used at the time for experiments with electromagnetic waves. In particular, Marconi conceived the grounded antenna and after many experiments he decided to use lower frequencies.
What features set this work apart from similar achievements?
Marconi's first experiments in wireless telegraphy were aimed at communicating without wires at increasing ranges. With this goal, he took the instruments that were being used for important experiments on electromagnetic waves in different universities out of the laboratory, in order to overcome natural obstacles. In the garden of his fathers villa, he was finally able to overcome the Celestini hill, at a distance of about 2 km. His use of the grounded antenna and of a very sensitive coherer were two crucial elements for the accomplishment.
References to establish the dates, location, and importance of the achievement: Minimum of five (5), but as many as needed to support the milestone, such as patents, contemporary newspaper articles, journal articles, or citations to pages in scholarly books. At least one of the references must be from a scholarly book or journal article.
Supporting materials (supported formats: GIF, JPEG, PNG, PDF, DOC): All supporting materials must be in English, or if not in English, accompanied by an English translation. You must supply the texts or excerpts themselves, not just the references. For documents that are copyright-encumbered, or which you do not have rights to post, email the documents themselves to email@example.com. Please see the Milestone Program Guidelines for more information.