Roberto Clemens Galletti di Cadilhac was born on December 29th 1879 in “San Venanzo“, the family home near Torre San Patrizio in the Italian Regione of le Marche. His father, Arturo, was a Colonel in the artillery who had fought with Garibaldi in the Italian “Risorgimento” and later became mayor of Torre San Patrizio and a member of the Italian Parliament. His mother, novelist Margaret Collier, was the daughter of Sir Robert Collier, First Lord Monkswell, Gladstone’s Attorney General.
Galletti attended the School of Engineering at the University of Rome.
He worked for the Marconi Company for some time but formed the Galletti Wireless Telegraph and Telephone Company in 1912 after conflicts with Marconi. He moved to France because of the Marconi monopoly in Italy and set up a powerful transmitting station at Leschaux in the Savoi region of France.
The station was by the river Rhône. which guaranteed the necessary dampness at the foot of a “falaise” or cliff for obtaining a proper “earth”. At the top of the 500 metre cliff stood ten wooden poles to which the ten wires of the aerial, each wire measuring 950 metres, were anchored. The signals from Leschaux were received in Tuckerton, New Jersey, USA, in the winter of 1913-14.
The outbreak of World War I followed soon after the opening of the station. Unfortunately, the importance of having one of the world’s most powerful radio transmitters was lost on the French authorities and equipment such as high-tension dynamos and large condensers was sequestrated for the war effort. Although the material was returned after the war, Galletti found his station in a useless condition when he was allowed to reenter it in 1923.
Galletti carried on with his scientific studies.
In the years 1928-31 Galletti worked with the Ferranti Company in Manchester on the development of a directional beam aerial and used it to guide an airplane successfully on a flight from Manchester to Bristol and back again. While the use of radio location had already been used for aircraft navigation, this was one of the first examples of the use of a dedicated navigation signal. The flight was documented in an article of the Manchester Evening Chronicle of July 2nd, 1931.
The year after, on August 18th 1932, Galletti died suddenly at his home in Murs, France, after a life dedicated to science. Information about Galletti can be found at the Galletti Museum in St Maurice de Rotherens (Savois, France) and among the Ferranti Company archives held in the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester.
Every year, on the second Sunday of June, a celebration in honour of Galletti takes place in France at Saint Maurice Rotherens. In his native town, Torre San Patrizio, the new Cineteatro has been dedicated to him.
In June of 1999, the 120th anniversary at his birth was marked by his native district with an International Conference on the Origins and Development of Wireless Telegraphy.
See on fr.wikipedia.org
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