Signor Marconi's Magic Box: The Most Remarkable Invention Of The 19th Century & The Amateur Inventor Whose Genius Sparked A Revolution
The world at the turn of the twentieth century was in the throes of "Marconi-mania"-brought on by an incredible invention that no one could quite explain, and by a dapper and eccentric figure (who would one day win the newly minted Nobel Prize) at the center of it all. At a time when the telephone, telegraph, and electricity made the whole world wonder just what science wo...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published September 22nd 2004 by Da Capo Press
(first published January 1st 2003)
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Aug 30, 2009 Ari rated it 4 of 5 stars · review of another edition
Recommends it for: nerds
Saw this at the Harvard Coop, and snapped it up. It's a good read and a fascinating topic. It's essentially a biography of Marconi, focusing on his most creative period, 1896 - 1910 or so. The author glosses past the engineering aspects, which I found frustrating -- why did Marconi's apparatus behave as unpredictably as it did? Would a better physics education have helped him? What did he think was happening, and what really did? Likewise, I wish the author talked more about the business aspects...more
May 22, 2013 Shoomg rated it 4 of 5 stars · review of another edition
An interesting biography of Guglielmo Marconi and his role in the invention of radio. While Marconi was not the first person to transmit radio signals, and while he didn't invent the building blocks that made up radio, he was the first person able to take what was a laboratory curiosity and to turn it into a practical system for long-distance communication. It was thanks to Marconi that wireless went from sending signals a few hundred yards to spanning the Atlantic ocean in less than a decade, a...more
I still don't understand how radio works, but that doesn't mean I didn't enjoy reading this book. It managed to stay interesting and intelligent without getting bogged down in the technical details. I can't decide if it's a positive or negative, but every chapter ended with a cliffhanger or teaser that compelled me to keep reading. Good because if kept me reading, bad because it kept me up past my bedtime!
Guglielmo Marconi 1874-1937, made wireless telegraphy commercially viable. Voice transmission by radio came later, Marconi's original work transmitted morse code. Later he was a Mussolini supporter. Very fun to read, needs a little more technical detail & a bibliography