Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Thunderstruck

Memorial to Guglielmo Marconi in Mt. Pleasant

If you ever want to read a great true crime/historical piece, pick up a copy of Erik Larson's Thunderstruck. It's the story of Guglielmo Marconi and the invention of transatlantic, wireless communication that resulted in solving a murder and solidifying wireless as the primary means of communication between Europe and North America.

This memorial to Marconi is located in Mt. Pleasant at Lamont and 16th Streets NW. I couldn't find any information regarding how this bust memorializing Marconi came to be in Washington, in general, and at this location, in particular. If anyone has any information about this statue, let me know.

Photo copyright: D.C. Confidential

9 comments:

Virginia said...

You've been a pretty good tour guide up until now so we will forgive this lack of info! HA

Bernie said...

Marconi's work also led to what we now know as radio (my business). There is probably no connection, but the National Association of Broadcasters headquarters is at 18th and N Streets. Is that anywhere near 16th and Lamont?

b.c. said...

yes, oh yes, he wrote devil in the white city, was really good...love the shot, like the bright light on the figures, and the sky is such a pretty blue

p.s. i just checked out your list of faves on your profile, i love pink martini too (autrefois from hang on little tomato is one of my faves but all of it is good!!!)

marley said...

Interesting statue. I like the gold :)

Dusty Lens said...

I often wonder what inspired Marconi and others to create the things we rely on today.

D.C. Confidential said...

Virginia: I know! I'm falling down on the job! ;-)


Bernie: I just walked past the NAB offices again today. As your point out, they're on 18th and N. My best guessitmate would be, they're about a mile south of the statue on 16th and Lamont.


B.C.: I haven't read Devil in the White City yet, but it's in my TBR pile and I've heard great things about it. As for Pink Martini, they ROCK! Have you seen them perform live? Worth every single penny!! Love.them. Love.them. P.S. Rob (Dusty Lens) loves them, too!


Marley: Funny about the gold. I'm surprised someone hasn't made off with these yet, given how copper wiring stripped from construction sites and empty houses is a hot commodity in these recessive times.


Rob: What inspired Marconi was mostly curiosity and competition. He wasn't racing to report the murder. In fact, what happened was, he was testing his ship-to-shore systems when a ship's captain wired that a suspected and sought after murderer was on his ship. The message got through and was the ultimate piece of irrefutable proof Marconi needed to prove that wireless across the Atlantic could work. It's a great book. You should check it out!

Maya said...

Sounds intriguing! Nice shot!

Tash said...

I think Marconi deserves a gold bust & a gold maiden -- looks like she is showing the way to the distance ... communication. I remember learning about Marconi sometime in ingeniring school - but all I remember is that I loved the name.

D.C. Confidential said...

Maya: It's a good book and a quick read. I highly recommend it.


Tash: Marconi's name inspires visions of pasta, doesn't it? Supposedly, this isn't the only memorial/statue to him in D.C. The other is at a building called Casa Italiano. I've got to track that down and get a picture.