Guglielmo Marconi is usually credited with sending the first radio message. Marconi was born in Bologna, Italy. He came to England in 1896 and obtained a British patent for his wireless telegraphy system. In 1897 he established a radio transmitter on the roof of the Post Office at St. Martins-le-Grand in London, and sent a message a distance of a few hundred yards.
He continued to improve his apparatus and in 1898 radio was installed aboard a ship at sea, the East Goodwin lightship off the south-east coast of England. In the following year wireless messages were sent across the English Channel.
The first radio transmission across the Atlantic was on December 12, 1901 from a station on the cliffs at Poldhu, in Cornwall, and the message, three dots representing the letter S in the Morse code, was picked up at St. John's in Newfoundland.
The existence of radio waves was first demonstrated by Heinrich Hertz, a German professor, in 1887. Marconi based his experiments on Hertz's research.