While just a teenager, Guglielmo Marconi undertook a series of pioneering experiments in his parents’ attic.
A dream that many great scientific minds had dismissed as an unobtainable fantasy: the long-distance transmission of electromagnetic waves.
By his early 20s, Marconi's attic inventions had won over a sceptical scientific establishment — and given life to a technology that would change the world for ever.
Through him, radio was born.
Discover one of the minds who made the modern world
Take the Marconi Tour
Our friend and colleague Ken Taylor — volunteer tour guide at the Museum and Chairman of the Oxford District Amateur Radio Society — shares the life and achievements of inventor and entrepreneur Guglielmo Marconi, and how he brought wireless radio communication to the world.
Calling all Marconi fans ...
Ken gives us a short tour of the Marconi Collection
before joining fellow amateur radio enthusiasts for Marconi Day
Well, what do you know?
Ken goes behind the scenes to explain Marconi's connection to the Titanic, Irish whiskey and the BBC
There's plenty here to enjoy together as a family, in pairs — or for some well-earned me-time.
The Marconi Van is brand new — a unique multimedia, interactive exhibition.
Housed inside a 1968 Traveller van built at Oxford's very own Morris Motors factory, the Marconi Van exhibition tells the story of Marconi's pioneering work and its scientific legacy in radio and microwave physics:
interactive activities exploring the past, present, and future of radio and communications physics
imaginatively displayed historical objects from the History of Science Museum's collection tell their stories
virtual experiments you can try yourself — have a go in the laboratory!
Enjoy the Marconi Van experience by looking through the windows — or if you'd rather stay further away, you can take part online using our content-packed virtual interface which links you directly to objects and activities inside.
Coming soon! More on the Marconi Van exhibition
Become a Morse Code Operator
Download your Morse Code Operator kit, grab a flashlight, and have fun learning Morse Code!
All you need is a pen and a flashlight to become a Morse Code expert.
Marconi probably used this Parabolic Receiver in a demonstration to the Post Office and Armed Services on Salisbury Plain in 1896, persuading the army that this new technology would be useful on the battlefield.
Probably the most important item in the Marconi Collection, this Receiver was used in the famous Toynbee Hall demonstration in December 1896 – a ‘magic moment’ in the history of wireless communication.
This early piece of apparatus was used to generate crude electric sparks which emit radio waves. It was not tuned to one particular wavelength; instead emitted a range of wavelengths. This was the kind of kit Marconi was mucking about with as a young man in the attic of his parents’ house.