Alfonso Marconi

Alfonso Marconi (1865 – 1936) was an Italian businessman and collector of stringed instruments, most famous for assisting his younger brother Guglielmo Marconi in his pioneering work on long-distance radio transmission[1]


Early life and education

Alfonso Marconi was born into the Italian nobility in 1865, the first son of Giuseppe Marconi (an Italian aristocratic landowner from Porretta Terme) and of his Irish/Scots wife, Annie Jameson (daughter of Andrew Jameson of Daphne Castle in County Wexford, Ireland, and granddaughter of John Jameson, founder of whiskey distillers Jameson & Sons).[2] Alfonso was educated at Bedford School in England between 1876 and 1880, during his peripatetic childhood.[3]

Assistant to Guglielmo Marconi

Alfonso Marconi assisted his younger brother Guglielmo Marconi with his early experiments, and in the summer of 1895 Guglielmo moved his experimentation outdoors.[4] After increasing the length of transmitter and receiver antennas, arranging them vertically, and positioning an antenna so that it touched the ground, Guglielmo significantly increased the range he could achieve.[5]

Alfonso stood on one side of a hill near to the family home of Villa Griffone in Pontecchio, Italy, and fired a shot which was transmitted over the hill to Guglielmo: a distance of approximately 2.4 kilometres (1.5 mi). Guglielmo concluded that, with additional funding and research, a device could become capable of spanning greater distances and would prove valuable both commercially and militarily.[6]

Later life

Alfonso Marconi was a director of the American International Marine Communication Company and an avid collector of stringed instruments.[7][8] He died suddenly at a London hotel on the evening of Friday 24 April 1936 following a heart attack (his brother died following a heart attack in 1937).[9]


  1. ^ Obituary, The Times, 27 April 1936, p.16
  2. ^ Marconi: the Irish connection, Michael Sexton, Four Courts Press, 2005
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 8 April 2014. Retrieved 4 November 2014.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "Milestones:Marconi's Early Wireless Experiments, 1895 - GHN: IEEE Global History Network". 26 September 2003. Retrieved 15 February 2014.
  5. ^ Marconi, "Wireless Telegraphic Communication: Nobel Lecture, 11 December 1909." Nobel Lectures. Physics 1901–1921. Amsterdam: Elsevier Publishing Company, 1967: 196–222. p. 206.
  6. ^ "The Nobel Prize in Physics 1909".
  7. ^ "Valuable violins". Herald Scotland.
  8. ^ "London's Sherlock Holmes Show, a Stradivarius at Auction and More". WSJ. 17 October 2014.
  9. ^ The Times, 28 April 1936, p.1
Marconi (surname)

Marconi is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Alfonso Marconi (1865–1936), Italian businessman and collector

Andrea Marconi (born 1985) Italian footballer

David Marconi, American screenwriter

Dominic Anthony Marconi (born 1927), American Roman Catholic bishop

Enrico Marconi, also known as Henryk Marconi (1792–1863), Italian architect

Francesco Marconi (1853 or 1855–1916), Italian operatic tenor

Gaudenzio Marconi (1841–1885), Italian photographer

Gioia Marconi Braga (1916−1996), daughter of Guglielmo Marconi, founder and chairwoman of the Marconi Foundation

Gloria Marconi (born 1968), Italian long-distance runner

Guglielmo Marconi (1874–1937), Italian electrical engineer and inventor of radio

Ivan Marconi (born 1989), Italian footballer

Juan Martínez Marconi (born 1982), Chilean footballer

Joe Marconi (1934–1992), American football fullback

Lana Marconi (1917–1990), Romanian-French actress

Leandro Marconi (1834–1919), architect, son of Enrico Marconi

Leonard Marconi (1835–1899), Polish and Austro-Hungarian architect and sculptor

Lou Marconi (born 1973), American professional wrestler, trainer, and occasional actor

Maria Marconi (born 1984), Italian diver

Michele Marconi (born 1989), Italian footballer

Nicola Marconi (born 1978), Italian diver

Rocco Marconi (before 1490–1529), Italian painter

Saverio Marconi (born 1948), former Italian actor and stage director

Tommaso Marconi (born 1982), Italian diver

Władysław Marconi (1848-1915), Polish architect

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