July 13, 1897: Marconi receives U.S. patent for wireless telegraph

In 1896, Guglielmo Marconi, an Italian inventor, sent his first radio transmissions, coded signals that traveled only about one mile. But Marconi saw that his invention had enormous potential. After some obstacles to the promotion of the device in Europe, Marconi received a United States patent for his wireless telegraph, or radio. In 1909, Marconi won the Nobel prize in physics for his invention, which went into widespread use and made him a wealthy man.