The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, CA 91108
125 pieces, also newspaper clippings.
Guglielmo Marconi was an Italian physicist who spent much of his professional life in Great Britain. In the late 1890s he began experimenting with wireless telegraphy, which culminated on December 14, 1901, with the first trans-Atlantic transmission of a wireless telegraph. Marconi would later go on to experiment with short-wave radio and microwaves. For a brief period that overlaps with his experiments with wireless telegraphy, he was engaged to an American he met on the steamer St. Paul from New York to England, Josephine Bowen Holman. Marconi and Holman were engaged from 1899 to the beginning of 1902, when the engagement was broken off by Marconi. The collection, which is housed in two boxes, is arranged in the following manner: first three authors are arranged by number of letters in the collection (Guglielmo Marconi, R. Norman Vyvyan and Annie Jameson Marconi, in that order), and the rest are arranged alphabetically by other authors. This collection consists of letters and telegrams from Guglielmo Marconi to his fiancé, Josephine Bowen Holman. There are also letters to Holman from Marconi’s mother, Annie Jameson Marconi, one of his engineers, R. Norman Vyvyan, and various other correspondents (mainly family members). Portions of some of the letters to Holman from Marconi are written in Morse code, and there are pictures of his telegraph towers in Cornwall and two of his family home in Bologna. There are two manuscripts: Morse Code Legend written by Marconi and Holman’s diary for January to April 1902. There are 6 pieces of ephemera, including two published copies of a paper by Marconi on the wireless telegraphy that he gave March 2, 1899 to the Institution of Electrical Engineers, and 141 newspaper clippings. Subjects include: Marconi and Holman’s relationship, Nikola Tesla, Alexander Graham Bell, Morse Code, and Marconi’s invention: the wireless telegraph.