A brief history

Marconi aerial receiver 1896.
Marconi aerial receiver 1896.

The birth of radio was mainly associated with various amateur experimenters and there are many contenders for the title of The Inventor of Radio. That honour has been disputed between not only the original experimenters, Heinrich Rudolf Hertz (1888), Nikola Tesla and Guglielmo Marconi, but also Amos Dolbear, Reginald Fessenden, James Clerk Maxwell, Sir Oliver Lodge, Mahlon Loomis, Nathan Stubblefield and Alexander Popov.

Muirhead Morse inker 1903.
Muirhead Morse inker 1903.

At the beginning of 1895, Tesla was able to detect signals transmitted from his New York lab at West Point (a distance of 50 miles). In 1896, Marconi demonstrated the transmission and reception of Morse code modulated radio signals over distances up to 6 kilometres on Salisbury Plain in England. In 1899, he sent wireless messages across the English Channel and, according to his reports, the first transatlantic transmission in 1902.

Gugliemo Marconi 1901
Gugliemo Marconi 1901

Following Marconi’s experiments (1900-1908), many people began experimenting with radio using spark gap transmitters to communicate in Morse code. These first operators were the pioneers of amateur radio.

Throughout its history, amateur radio enthusiasts have made significant contributions to science, engineering, industry and social services. The economic and social benefit derived from research by amateur radio operators has founded new industries, built economies, empowered nations and saved lives