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Marconi Museum

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The idea of making the telephone (still at the dawn of becoming an instrument of communication between people) a true means of mass communication was first experimented in Paris with the Théatrophone, a service launched during the International Electric Exhibition in 1881, thus five years after Alexander G. Bell's patent, which allowed subscribers (about a hundred) to listen to live operas, plays and concerts transmitted from major theatres onto their own telephone set. By 1885 some imagined that, thanks to the Théatrophone, buildings would soon have «the opera on all floors» just as they already had water and gas.

A prediction that did effectively come true, but with different technologies. The main experiment of circular telephony attempted in the world was the one that took place in Budapest in 1893, the "Telefon Hirmondo", that counted more than 6,000 subscribers for its daily news service (predominantly) and entertainment. In 1910 an analogous service, the "Araldo Telefonico" (literal translation of the Hungarian name) was launched in Rome, and by 1914 it had more than 1,300 subscribers.

One might wonder why circular telephony, already making headway, was, in appearance, so completely supplanted by the radio. One thing is certain, that model of communication is not a pure historical curiosity: it reappeared afterwards (in the Sixties) under the form of broadcasting and, as of the Seventies, grew vivaciously under the form of cable television.




















In this section we offer an innovative approach to understanding the works of Marconi. The methodology behind the organization of the exhibits targets different typologies of visitors, but in its entirety it presents numerous instruments that can be used to analyze one of the most extraordinary changes at the origins of the modern world: the peaceful revolution of radio communications, or “wireless” as it was once called, of which Guglielmo Marconi was the brilliant initiator and pioneer.

You can repeat some of the young inventor’s experiments, run through highlights of his career, immerse yourself in the fascinating documents of the period, delve into the technical and historical knowledge of that extraordinary revolution, the development of which continued through the twentieth century and continues today in the beginning of the XXI century.


The most inspiring aspect of science is that it encourages man to persist in the realisation of his dreams. Science requires a flexible mind. You cannot interrogate the universe with a formula. You have to observe it, take what it gives up you and reflect with the help of science and reason. Science keeps you young.





























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