Paget - Marconi

Oct 20, 2011, 08:50 PM

'It was about half past twelve when I heard three little clicks in the earphones. Several times they sounded, but I hardly dared believe', said Guglielmo Marconi.

Imagine putting an earphone to your ear and hearing signals from afar for the very first time.

December 12th, 1901, saw the first trans-Atlantic wireless signal being received. Marconi gambled £50,000 on an experiment even many scientists felt would fail, given the curvature of the Earth.

Poldhu was to be the English end of the experiment, with Newfoundland as, ultimately, the other end. No plain sailing either: 200 feet aerial masts had earlier been brought down in storms; and kites and balloons also proved largely unsuccessful.

At 12:30, the sounds came. Dot ... dot ... dot, transmitted 1,865 miles. The World was never the same again.

Hear, here, one of his accomplices, Paget, and Marconi himself reflect on that great day.