MARCONI, GUGLIELMO - Letter about an American hydroelectic project
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MARCONI, GUGLIELMO - Letter about an American hydroelectic project

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MARCONI, GUGLIELMO. (1874-1937). Italian physicist, inventor, developer of wireless telegraphy, and winner of the 1909 Nobel Prize in physics. TLS. (“G. Marconi”). 2/3 page. 4to. London, March 19, 1929. On letterhead of Marconi’s Wireless Telegraph Company. To H.L. Rogers of Boston’s Stone & Webster Engineering Corporation.


I am much obliged for your letter of December 12, 1928, and regret that owing to pressure of business and a protracted absence on the Continent, it has not been possible to acknowledge it before. Please also accept my thanks for the booklet describing the construction of the Conowingo hydroelectric development, which came safely to hand, and has provided me with some very interesting reading…”


At age 20, Marconi began to experiment with electromagnetic waves, out of which he conceived the idea of wireless telegraph communication. In 1900, he filed his famous Patent No.7777 for Improvements in Apparatus for Wireless Telegraphy, which allowed stations to operate at different wavelengths simultaneously and without interference. Marconi’s fame was secured one year later when he became the first to transmit transatlantic wireless signals. After winning the Nobel Prize in 1909, he continued to conduct experiments in radio communication, eventually leading his company to build short-wave broadcasting stations around the world.


Our letter mentions the construction of Maryland’s Conowingo Dam, which harnessed the hydroelectric potential of the lower Susquehanna River and was designed by the engineering firm Stone & Webster (erroneously named “Stone & Western” by Marconi in our letter). When it was completed in 1928, it was the second largest hydroelectric plant in the United States behind the one at Niagara Falls. Stone & Webster had been founded by two MIT-educated electrical engineers and specialized in hydroelectric plants and utilities. The firm remained a leader in those sectors until a bribery scandal led to its downfall and sale to The Shaw Group in 2000.


Folded into quarters and in excellent condition.




Item #20518

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