Guglielmo Marconi and the Titanic - Wireless Telegraph Equipment

What did wireless telegraphy mean for the Titanic?


On the night of 14 April 1912, after the allision between the Titanic and the iceberg, the wireless telegraph operators of Titanic transmitted a distress signal.
The signal was received by the liner Carpathia that happened to be nearby.
As soon as the Carpathia received the distress call, she turned around and steamed towards the sinking Titanic.
Carpathia’s crew rescued all the survivors (700) they could find.
Marconi’s invention, saved lives!


Marconi set out to exploit the discovery of radio waves by developing a wireless transmission system.

In 1897, Marconi created the Wireless Telegraph and Signal Co. Ltd, the first commercial development of wireless transmission.

Back then, wireless telegraph technology was something of a fashionable novelty.

The company offered message transmissions both for ship communication and for first-class passengers to send messages ashore.

Because the technology was new, there was not yet an established practice of keeping a channel for emergency communications.

Several ice warnings from other vessels were either missed or ignored by Titanic beacause channels were blocked with passenger communications and

Indeed, after the collision with the iceberg, Harold Cottam, the operator of Carpathia, was awake and received the first distress signal from Titanic. Carpathia sailed immediately towards the Titanic’s position and saved many lives.

The tragic irony was that Guglielmo Marconi had a free passage on the Titanic. But he chose to sail with another ship, Lusitania, three days earlier because of the paperwork he had to do, preferred the public stenographer aboard Lusitania.

Can you imagine what if he had sailed on Titanic?


Marconi’s invention is definitely a “From 0 to 1” situation …

1 Like

To study further the story and history of the Titanic, I recommend:
The website
The book A night to remember (1955) by Walter Lord