Visit commemorated her father’s visit to the site 101 years ago
On Monday, June 30, the InfoAge Science History Museum in Wall Township was host to Princess Elettra Marconi Giovanelli of Italy, the 84-year-old daughter of legendary Italian physicist Guglielmo Marconi, the co-inventor of radio and 1909 Nobel Prize recipient.
The visit commemorated her father’s visit to the site 101 years ago to the day.
Her visit to InfoAge was the final stop on what was a two-week-long North American tour of various speaking engagements at universities, museums and historical sites. This included stops in Ontario and Massachusetts, and the conference “NJ: State of Invention” at Rutgers University. Associate Professor of Classics at Rutgers University T. Corey Brennan helped to organize the tour and accompanied the princess.
“This has been such an incredible two weeks, and our tour of InfoAge today was amazing,” the princess said.
The princess’ visit to Wall Township commemorated the 101st anniversary of her father’s visit to the site on June 30, 1913, when he inspected the progress of the site’s construction as the Belmar Receiving Station for the Marconi Wireless Company. It was Marconi’s vision to create a “wireless girdle” of communication around the Earth.
The Belmar Station, a National Historic Landmark now on the grounds of InfoAge museum, was the largest Marconi Station at the time. The station boasted six, 400-foot radio antenna towers that have since been taken down, along with a power station building, two cottages, a transmission room and a majestic three-story hotel that still exist today.
Princess Elettra Marconi was born in 1930 in Civitavecchia, Italy, and was the only daughter of Mr. Marconi and his second wife, Maria Cristina Marconi. She was witness to Mr. Marconi’s experiments on board his yacht, Elettra, before his passing in 1937 when she was 7 years old.
She acquired the title of princess by marriage to Prince Giovanelli, and has one son, Prince Guglielmo Marconi Giovanelli, who shares his mother’s passion to spread the story of Guglielmo Marconi. Princess Elettra Marconi was given a tour of the historic Marconi site and InfoAge museums. Afterwards, she was joined by museum staff, volunteers and dignitaries for a lunch in her honor. Her father was inducted into the InfoAge Wall of Honor and she was presented a copy of the plaque by InfoAge Director Fred Carl and Board Chairman Mike Ruane.
In presenting the plaque, Mr. Ruane said, “we are honored to have Princess Marconi present as we induct Guglielmo Marconi to the Wall of Honor.”
The tour is also an effort by Princess Elettra Marconi to raise funds for the restoration of her father’s house in Bologna, Italy. The princess hopes to restore the Renaissance-era palace and convert it to an academic center for students studying science, technology, engineering or medicine.
“I want to bring the building to life with students from America who can continue my father’s work,” the princess said.
This was the princess’ third visit to New Jersey, but her first visit to the historic Belmar Station and InfoAge Museum. The princess said of her visit, “this is a wonderful place, and I will come back with my son very soon.”