Beyond the Book: Background information when reading Thunderstruck

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Thunderstruck

by Erik Larson

Thunderstruck
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  • First Published:
    Oct 2006, 480 pages
    Paperback:
    Sep 2007, 480 pages

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Winner of the 1909 Nobel Prize, Guglielmo Marconi was born in Italy in 1874, the son of an Italian country gentleman and Englishwoman, Annie Jameson. He was intrigued by electrical science from an early age and at just 21 years of age he succeeded in sending wireless signals over a distance of one and a half miles. A year later, in 1896, he was granted the world's first patent for a system of wireless telegraphy, and shortly after formed The Wireless Telegraph & Signal Company Ltd. In 1890 he took out his famous patent No. 7777 for "tuned or syntonic telegraphy". The following year he proved that wireless signals were not effected by the curvature of the earth by transmitting a wireless signal across the Atlantic between Cornwall and Newfoundland - a distance of 2100 miles.

Over the next decade he patented several more inventions, until World War I intervened. In 1914 he was commissioned in the Italian Army as a Lieutenant, later promoted to Captain; ...

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