Lead: At the end of 1901, twenty-seven year old Guglielmo Marconi made the first transatlantic wireless transmission, but his outstanding achievement, like so many of the breakthroughs of science, built on the discoveries of others.

 Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: For generations prior to Marconi’s historic transmission, science had known that electrical current emanating from telegraph wires could excite or energize metallic objects at not-inconsiderable distances. This phenomenon was given theoretical credence in an 1865 essay by English physicist, James Clerk Maxwell, who posited that electrical impulses travel through space in waves in a manner quite similar to light waves and at the same speed. In the 1880s German scientist Heinrich Hertz proved that electrical current could be manipulated and transmitted at will between non-connected objects through a special medium he called the ether.

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