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Guglielmo Marconi: Application of Radio Waves to Communication, 1918

Transatlantic Travels

Now the next frontier in wireless communication—air-to-ground transmission—was about to be reached. Trials involving transmitters and receivers in balloons had been ongoing but the first direct air-to-ground message was sent from a bi-plane overhead to a station on Long Island, New York. The first air-sea rescue followed as a Marconi operator was able to telegraph for help from the damaged airship America in mid-Atlantic.

The focus moved to South America and further records were set with transmissions from Buenos Aires to Clifden traveling 6,400 km in daytime. During this time, when he was in Buenos Aires, Marconi's son, Giulio, was born.

The Clifden-to-Glace Bay route became the dominant passage for the rapidly increasing transatlantic wireless traffic. Later upgrades to the stations at Poldhu and Cape Cod were made to supplement their operation.

The practical use of wireless telegraphy continued to be for ships at sea, both commercial and military. Most vessels carried Marconi operators to service the communications. The effect of speedy information on military tactics and strategy was profound with Britain, Italy, France, Germany, and the United States using the latest equipment. These flourishing developments sent Marconi traveling throughout the world.