Tuesday, 15 January 2008

How many inventors for radio?

When i was a child, i was sure about a couple of things: i was italian and another italian (Guglielmo Marconi) invented the radio. It was cool to know that i was born in the same nation of the inventor of a magical instrument like the radio. Now i'm not a child anymore and things seem a bit more complicated than they used to be.

I was reading an italian blog of a friend, Radiopassioni, and i found out that in Spain they released a book called "Radio in Spain 1896-1977". The author of the book is the professor Angel Faus Belau (professor of "Cultura y ComunicaciĆ³n Audiovisual" at University of Navarra) and his point of view is that the inventor of radio was the spanish (spanish professor and spanish inventor: what a coincidence!) Julio Cervera Baviera (1854-1929).

In a bit of confusion, i'm trying to fix few things:
1) Gugliemo Marconi (1874-1937) wasn't entirely italian: he was born in Bologna (Italy) and his parents were Giuseppe Marconi (italian) and Annie Jameson (scottish-irish).
2) We still don't know who invented radio, we know that several people were doing experiments of radio signals during 1890-1910 but we can't say who made the most important achievement.
According to history of radio of wikipedia, "several people are claimed to have "invented the radio". The most commonly accepted claims are:
- Jagadish Chandra Bose (1858-1937)
- Nikola Tesla (1856-1943)
- Guglielmo Marconi (1874-1937)
Should we add Julio Cervera Baviera ? And what about Oliver Lodge (1851-1940) ? And Reginald Fessenden (1866-1932) ? Anybody else??

If somebody has time, it would be interesting to see how the same invention was (and still is) credited to different people in different countries. Same invention, but different inventors and different celebrations.

Marconi's prediction about tv

In the magazine printed by CRIT (research and innovation of technology of Rai; Rai is italian state-owned tv and radio) of April 2001 you can see an excerpt from the italian magazine Radiorario of 1926.
"Gugliemo Marconi told the Vossische Zeitung [a german newspaper] that the problem of television will be fixed by two years and then any war will be impossible. An invisible enemy won't exist anylonger: the enemy, with the help of television, wil be seen at any long distance. Therefore it won't be difficult anymore to predict and to defend any enemy's strike. It will be the end of submarines, the end of wars."

As far as we know today, Marconi (assuming it's true that he said that) was right: since the invention of television, we haven't had any war in the world.

1 comment:

Gio said...

Which year was the article published? I wonder why Marconi said that if he actually did.

Anybody, even someone who's not an expert in military strategy, understands that you don't need TV to follow the enemy moves but indeed radio communications and or things like radars and sonars.

In fact the only real change was made with the introduction of spy satellites which are recent.

In fact there wasn't any relevant conflict since the diffusion of TV, but that is mostly a coincidence. The few thousand people that die in war every year are really not many compared to the world population of 6.5 billion, armed to their teeth.

I can't say the statistics in medieval times up to WW2 but I guess they're a little over that average.

TV certainly helps "watching" the enemy position in foreign policy, but doesn't give any significant advantage in military strategy.

The main things that killed war so far have been Nuclear weapons and the slowing demography in western countries.

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