Can you imagine a world without television and radio? Not to mention cellphones, cordless phones, radar, microwave ovens, remote-control cars, and baby monitors?
All these devices rely on the transmission of radio signals through the air. And it was 100 years ago this Saturday that a young Italian inventor showed the globe-girdling potential of his wireless telegraph, or radio transmitter.
On January 18, 1903 the first public, two-way wireless communication between Europe and America occurred, and the dream of worldwide communication became reality.
This is the original message, sent January 18, 1903:
His Majesty King Edward VII
In taking advantage of this wonderful triumph of scientific research and ingenuity, which has been achieved in perfecting a system of wireless telegraphy, I extend on behalf of the American people most cordial greetings and good wishes to all the people of the British Empire.
King Edward VII's Reply to President Roosevelt via Land Line and Cable
White House, Washington, America
I thank you most sincerely for the kind message which I have just received from you, through Marconi's trans-Atlantic wireless telegraphy. I sincerely reciprocate in the name of the people of the British Empire the cordial greetings and friendly sentiment expressed by you on behalf of the American Nation, and I heartily wish you and your country every possible prosperity.