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Marconi on the Isle of Wight

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Tim Wander

Sunday 11th October 16:00 - 16:45 | Digital

In November 1897, a twenty-three year old Italian inventor visited the Royal Needles Hotel that overlooked Alum Bay on the west coast of the Isle of Wight. The young Guglielmo Marconi’s proposal to rent rooms to perform his ‘experiments’ over the deserted winter months was warmly welcomed by the hotel’s proprietors. Marconi used some of the working capital of his newly formed Wireless Telegraph & Signal Company to convert the hotel’s billiard room and install his equipment and spark transmitter. Several small ships were hired and fitted with wireless aerials and receivers while moored at the pier below.

A huge mast, 168 feet high, had to be hauled up the cliff face of Alum Bay and raised in the hotel grounds, a feat that required the help of most of the able bodied men in Totland. On Monday 6th December 1897 Marconi started his wireless experiments from the Royal Needles Hotel, including a month of private demonstrations for Queen Victoria and the Royal family using wireless stations he installed at Osborne House and on board the Royal Yacht.

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This talk is available to view for FREE. On the date and at the time  above access our website and follow the link for the 2020 Red Funnel Isle of Wight Digital Literary Festival.

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