Guglielmo Marconi in Roger Williams Park

Diane and I heard that there was a statue to Marconi in Roger Williams Park, so we went to find it one day last winter. There it was, an 18 foot shaft of granite nestled in a copse of trees on a knoll off Frederick Greene Boulevard about 100 yards south of Carr Street.

Marconi Monument, RW Park

Marconi Monument, RW Park

Guglielmo Marconi, Nobel Prize Winner

A handsome and  fitting monument to the inventor of the wireless telegraph, it sat overlooking the tranquil pond. I was impressed by its beauty and its power. I needed to know more of the story so, as usual, I went to the best source of information that I know, The Providence Public Library. Betty mailed me the information from the 1953 stories in the Providence Journal.
Work for the monument started before WW II in 1937 or so. It was halted when the United States broke off diplomatic relations with Italy at the start of the War. The granite pieces had been completed and stored in Westerly and Providence.
A committee of undeterred citizens…Walter F. Fitzpatrick, Oresto DiSaia, Frank Rao and Mrs. Alice Thompson, with advice from Antonio Pace and Luigi Scala…moved forward after the War to get the Roger Williams site approved.
The monument was dedicated on October 26, 1953 with Marconi’s proud daughter, Degna Paresce, the guest of honor. Imagine, Marconi’s daughter in Rhode Island not so long ago. “I am honored and pleased,” she said while standing at the foot of the monument. A host of other State and Religious dignitaries were present one of whom, Bishop McVinney, expressed the hope that Marconi’s invention would be used for the good of mankind.. Senators Pastore and Greene said it was fitting for the monument to be in Roger Williams Park as both men…Marconi and Williams… were described as pioneers.

Marconi Monument, RW Park, Providence, RI

I wonder what Marconi would think if he were present today to see where the wireless world has come. Power indeed.
As you all know so well and have heard me say, I believe it is good to remember and record the past. It is good to recognize those who have contribited. It is good to recognize those who acknowledge genious and so erect lasting monuments.
Giuseppe Marconi, a humble and kind man, typified the “spirit of the good heart and genius for work.”
If you are in the Park, find the Marconi statue and pause for a moment to think of those who made it possible.
I would love to hear your thoughts.
Dr. Ed

Explore posts in the same categories: Art, Radio, Reflections

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4 Comments on “Guglielmo Marconi in Roger Williams Park”

  1. My dad worked for Bell Telephone. He told me that when he first started working there after WWII, the vision of the company was that someday everyone would be issued a phone number at birth and we’d carry our phones with us everywhere we went. I believe we’re almost there. What a vision, huh?

  2. Michael Rocchio Says:

    I had the pleasure of meeting Degna Paresce many years ago at a dinner honoring her father. She had written a book detailing her dad’s life and accomplishments.
    Guglielmo Marconi not only invented the wireless telegraph but also radar. He amazed the English admiralty by taking a yacht through a busy harbor with the captains view totally blocked other than the radar screen.(his wife was a British citizen) This preceded world war 2 by approximately a year.
    Germany did not have radar until later in the war and gave England a huge leg up on the Axis powers and contributed to England’s ability to withstand the German air war).

    • Remarkable and the reason Marconi won the Nobel prize. And, with no formal schooling in Physics, Math, etc., he learned it himself by using his remarkable mind, his ingenuity and his will to succeed.

  3. You were so very lucky to meet her , Mike. I will have another blog about Marconi and another of his monuments in RI. For that dedication, his daughter Elettre, by his second wife, came here. Elettre was named after Marconi’s boat. Interesting because the naming is usually the other way around… child first.
    Tante belle cose,

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