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Most people believe G. Marconi 'invented' wireless. The news is that he didn't. Professor David Edward Hughes was years ahead of him when he demonstrated a clockwork driven spark transmitter and crystal detector receiver in 1879. He came up with the crystal detector while developing a carbon microphone that he also invented.

An excellent website on David Edward Hughes can be found HERE

Marconi pictured shortly after his arrival in England, 1896

An excellent website that gives a brief history of wireless or radio HERE


My local historic transmitter was the Marconi station at Cefn Du, Waunfawr near Caernarfon in North Wales. In December 1921 they sent a signal to Waroonga Australia without any relay stations. It took 160kW to transmit the 12,500 miles. Before thermionic valves (tubes) were installed the station operated a spark transmitter consuming an enormous amount of hydro electric power generated on the south of Mount Snowdon.

The Marconi wireless station at Cefn Du, Waunfawr near Carnarvon showing the tubular masts, each 400 feet high.

Panels of Thermionic valves at the Cefn Du Marconi wireless station. Each steel frame measures about 15 by 10 feet, and carries four rows of six "light tubes". Each valve measures 14 inches overall. This station is the most powerful in the world, and has transmitted messages direct to Australia.


The "Aladdins Lamp" of Wireless.

The thermionic valve, invented by Professor Fleming, F.R.S., has revolutionised wireless telegraphy and telephony. In the huge transatlantic Marconi wireless telegraphy station at Cefn Du, near Carnarvon, 56 of these large globes of light, through which the signal impulses pass are in operation.

In the 1960's the old Marconi station was used as a nightclub with a dubious reputation for its entertainment activities!  Today it is a centre for outdoor activities complete with climbing wall inside the main building. Only the concrete bases for the long-gone aerials and stay cables can be seen running up the hillside. The local Dragon Radio Society transmit to Australia every year from the old station.


Edison innovations animation (Google)


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