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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
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published August 20th 2003 by Da Capo Press
(first published January 1st 2003)
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Dec 29, 2006 Shoomg rated it really liked it
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
An interesting tale of a remarkable inventor. Sometimes bogs down. This book had no citations, so I am at a loss for where the author sourced specific information, which would have been nice given that it appeared there was some primary source research based on what the introduction discussed.
OK biography of inventor who promoted wireless and used it without scientifically knowing how it really worked. Best part is how it was used on the Titanic before it sank. Worth reading but there may be better biographies out there.
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
Just surfaced from the strata of my possessions. Five years since I read it but it still sparks recognition of how much I enjoyed reading about a narrow period of radio development that I cared little about beforehand. Consider visiting a time when radio waves were mysterious and no theory existed to guide the researchers to either create or detect them. Later devices such as the vacuum tube enabled an escape from this era but it was an erratic and unpredictable path. The accomplishments of Marc ...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! ...more
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