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Old 27th Apr 2024, 9:20 am   #1
Simon Gittins
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Default 150th year of anniversary of Marconi's birth

This YouTube video may be of interest:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ta2DrCMKohY
"In this video James G8GLL who lives close to Poldhu in Cornwall tells the story of Marconi and his part in the development of radio.
A fascinating presentation first given at a local residents meeting in Mullion, Cornwall. James also volunteers at the Marconi museum at Poldhu and operates the station GB2GM regularly."
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Old 27th Apr 2024, 7:50 pm   #2
G6Tanuki
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Default Re: 150th year of anniversary of Marconi's birth

If you are active on HF you should listen out for GB4IMD which is one of the special event stations celebrating the great man.

I just worked them [op's name Alan] on 3750 SSB.
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Old 27th Apr 2024, 8:00 pm   #3
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Default Re: 150th year of anniversary of Marconi's birth

As far as I know, neither the Oxford University Museum of the History of Science (which holds the physical Marconi Company collection) or the Bodleian Library (which holds the paper archives) are doing anything at all to commemorate this.
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Old 28th Apr 2024, 5:35 am   #4
its ur aerial
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Default Re: 150th year of anniversary of Marconi's birth

It comes as no surprise that any thing related to Engineering is never given the recognition it deserves.
Ken G6HZG.
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Old 28th Apr 2024, 10:15 am   #5
emeritus
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Default Re: 150th year of anniversary of Marconi's birth

Soon after the Marconi archive went to Oxford, I found an error in the catalogue, where what was said to be a high power transmitter valve was actually a high power tungsten filament lamp for film studio lighting. I emailed them, attaching scans from books showing that it really was a large light bulb, but never received any acknowlegement and the catalogue remained unamended the last time I looked. I guess the collection is not high up on their list of priorities.

Last edited by emeritus; 28th Apr 2024 at 10:17 am. Reason: typos
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Old 28th Apr 2024, 10:31 am   #6
paulsherwin
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Default Re: 150th year of anniversary of Marconi's birth

The Bod is primarily an archive for researchers and a reference library for the University, but it does have a public oriented exhibition space in the old New Bodleian on Broad Street: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weston_Library

The MHS has treated the Marconi stuff rather shabbily. There seems to be very little interest in 20th century electronics amongst the curators and management. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Histor...Museum,_Oxford
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Old 28th Apr 2024, 11:11 pm   #7
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Default Re: 150th year of anniversary of Marconi's birth

At least the Marconi archive was saved intact.

When the company started to get into financial troubles, the collection was catalogued by one of the auction houses (Southeby's or Christies, I don't remember which) in preparation for sale by auction. A wealthy american was reportedly intending to buy the large filing cabinet of original Marconigrams from the Titanic to give out as gifts at a party. It was only down to the diligence of one of the trustees who unearthed documents showing that most of the collection had been the personal property of Marconi himself and so did not actually belong to the company, that prevented its sale and dispersal.

Last edited by emeritus; 28th Apr 2024 at 11:13 pm. Reason: typos
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Old 29th Apr 2024, 1:09 pm   #8
G6Tanuki
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Default Re: 150th year of anniversary of Marconi's birth

Must admit, I have always admired Marconi. He didn't really _invent_ anything in the conventional sense, rather he had the vision to bring together a series of until then rather-obscure and academic discoveries by the likes of Hertz, Lodge etc and convert them ito something potentially useful.

Then - just as important - he understood the significance of presenting his 'product' in an attractive way to potential backers in order to raise the necessary development funding - and then when things didn't go according to plan he was able to return to his backers and convince them to provide further funds.

So he was both a technical person *and* an entrepreneur. Think of him as the precursor of today's Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk etc.
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Old 30th Apr 2024, 9:42 am   #9
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Default Re: 150th year of anniversary of Marconi's birth

I've often thought that his own story would make a great film/biopic. So many things that even the general public could warm to and understand. From his aristocratic background to the shutting down of world radio on his death in 1937. So many stories along the way - an incredible tale. The BBC has always been a bit hostile - probably because some of the detail undermines their own carefully crafted story of the early history! However, they have posted this:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/historyofthebbc/marconi/

Finding a company/individual prepared to make such a biopic would be nigh on impossible, so it will stay on the shelf as an idea.

We always raise a glass to him (and the King) at the Marconi Veterans Association annual dinner held close to his birthday.
See: https://www.marconi-veterans.org/ind...1-2024-reunion

Best regards,

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Old 30th Apr 2024, 1:20 pm   #10
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Default Re: 150th year of anniversary of Marconi's birth

I always think of Marconi as an example of how not knowing too much about what is impossible and what isn't can actually be a good thing - I dare say the physicists of his day would have advised him that round the world or even over the horizon radio communication was likely impossible because electromagnetic waves, even when fired off parallel to the ground initially, would soon leave the earth's surface on a tangent and just vanish off into space.

Were the radio-reflective layers in the atmosphere already known about at the time?
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Old 30th Apr 2024, 5:49 pm   #11
SiriusHardware
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Default Re: 150th year of anniversary of Marconi's birth

Following up my own question, this page suggests that although the existence of the Ionosphore had been theorised some time earlier, it was Marconi's feat of making the first transatlantic radio transmission in 1901 which prompted the scientific establishment to really investigate the mechanism which had made it possible.

http://www.astrosurf.com/luxorion/qsl-propa2.htm
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Old 2nd May 2024, 11:12 am   #12
Iangebbie
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Default Re: 150th year of anniversary of Marconi's birth

Believe you will find that the starting point for radio was James Clark Maxwell, then Oliver Lodge, In my opinion Marconi just copied others.
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Old 13th May 2024, 11:44 am   #13
M0AFJ, Tim
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Default Re: 150th year of anniversary of Marconi's birth

Quote:
Originally Posted by SiriusHardware View Post
I always think of Marconi as an example of how not knowing too much about what is impossible and what isn't can actually be a good thing - I dare say the physicists of his day would have advised him that round the world or even over the horizon radio communication was likely impossible because electromagnetic waves, even when fired off parallel to the ground initially, would soon leave the earth's surface on a tangent and just vanish off into space.

Were the radio-reflective layers in the atmosphere already known about at the time?
I volunteer at the Marconi Museum at Bass Point where Marconi proved that signals would travel further than the horizon by receiving CW from St Catherine’s Point on the IoW. GB4LD. This predates Poldhu but is invariably forgotten!
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