20 October 1999
MARCONI, Gugliemo (1874-1937). Autograph letter signed to his father ('Carissimo Pap'), Westbourne Park, London, 15 February 1898, in Italian, 4 pages, 4to (slight soiling on last page).
Marconi reports to his father on the burgeoning success of his company, the shares having doubled in value to 3 in the preceding two months: 'Questo un risultato abbastanza singolare, non avendo noi per ora ancora cominciato a guadagnare grandi somme. Per dimostra la grande fiducia nella quale tenuto il sistema' (This is a rather peculiar outcome, since we haven't yet begun to make a lot of money. But it indicates the great faith in which our system is held). He reports on honours received from the Italian government, and on the rumours of a title from the German Emperor if the German trials go well. Marconi is on the point of leaving for Bournemouth, since all his tests by now are to be held on the coast.
Marconi's efforts to increase the distances achieved by wireless telegraphy resulted in 1899 in a transmission of 130 kilometres, from northern France to Chelmsford; the following year came his grandest coup, the first transatlantic transmission (of the letter S in Morse code, three dots). The Wireless Telegraph and Signal Company Limited was established in July 1897 and renamed Marconi's Wireless Telegraph Co. Ltd in 1900. Its initial financial success was not uninterrupted: for much of the first decade of this century it was to be sustained by Marconi's own funds.
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