Why Was the Radio Invented?

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An Italian named Guglielmo Marconi invented the radio in 1895 as a means of transmitting information using wireless radio waves. He developed the technology, which he called the wireless telegraph, while experimenting at his father's country estate.

Born in Bologna, Italy, in 1874, Marconi was fascinated by Hertz and Righi's discoveries in physical and electrical science. He received a private informal education but was granted permission to sit in on university classes and spend time working in school laboratories. The first radio system he created could transmit signals over one and a half miles. His mother saw the commercial potential of wireless technology and took him to England where the family formed The Wireless Telegraph & Signal Company in 1897. That same year, he was granted the word’s first patent for a system of wireless telegraphy and demonstrated his work to the Italian Government. Marconi established wireless communication between France and England across the English Channel in 1899. In December 1901, he proved that the Earth's curvature did not affect radio waves by transmitting the first wireless signals 2,100 miles across the Atlantic. Marconi shared the Nobel Prize for physics in 1906 with Ferdinand Braun for their contributions to the development of wireless telegraphy.