October 1937 Radio-Craft[Table of Contents]
People old and young enjoy waxing nostalgic about and learning some of the history of early electronics. Radio-Craft was published from 1929 through 1953. All copyrights are hereby acknowledged. See all articles from Radio-Craft.
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Never before has the lifetime of a single man been so identified with a change in the conditions of life on the globe, of which he was the most conspicuous creator, as that of Marconi. Five centuries since the discovery of printing have been required to spread its efficacy over the globe. The electric light had been known 50 years before Edison made it a commercial success; the steamboat had been demonstrated 250 years before Fulton found a backer for his dream. But the mathematical conception of radio
waves had hardly been published before Marconi was born; he was a growing boy, active in the study of science, when they were first definitely discovered. He was still young in years when he converted their possibilities into demonstrable fact. On the anniversary of the organization of his company to exploit the invention of practical "wireless" - 40 years to a day - he died. And his invention carried the news of his passing to discoverers seated on the Pole, to nomads in the desert, to ships on remote seas, to aviators flying above the clouds, and into a myriad homes in every city in the land. The monument of Guglielmo Marconi, for all time, is the "ether" vibrant about us - even within us - with the messages of all humanity.
Of the man's personality, little need be said: he was modest, self-effacing in his work; maintaining the spirit of scientific inquiry until his last moments. The first and most characteristic thought in his mind, as triumphs and honors were showered upon him, was that he was able to make his genius helpful to others, as no other man had done upon so wide a scale. His internationalism was joined with a pride in his country, which had initiated modern science with Galileo, and for whom he could speak with a voice that was heard and inspired confidence throughout the inhabited globe.
The Father of Radio has ended his share of the great work. But, as Pupin said, a quarter of a century ago: "Marconi could die, and wireless development would inevitably and continuously continue. His work lives on and grows, whether he lives or not. And that means that his work is immortal. His genius gave the idea to the world; and the further perfecting of his idea needs no genius."