Derivation of the word Antenna

Karl W4KRL W4KRL at
Fri Jun 8 14:12:28 CDT 2012

Useful stuff; good to know:




The words antenna (plural: antennas) and aerial are used interchangeably;
but usually a rigid metallic structure is termed an antenna and a wire
format is called an aerial. In the United Kingdom and other British English
speaking areas the term aerial is more common, even for rigid types. The
noun aerial is occasionally written with a diaeresis mark—aërial—in
recognition of the original spelling of the adjective aërial from which the
noun is derived.

The origin of the word antenna relative to wireless apparatus is attributed
to Italian radio pioneer Guglielmo Marconi. In 1895, while testing early
radio apparatus in the Swiss Alps at Salvan, Switzerland in the Mont Blanc
region, Marconi experimented with long wire 'aerials'. He used a 2.5 meter
vertical pole, with a wire attached to the top running down to the
transmitter, as a radiating and receiving aerial element. In Italian a tent
pole is known as l'antenna centrale, and the pole with the wire was simply
called l'antenna. Until then wireless radiating transmitting and receiving
elements were known simply as aerials or terminals. Because of his
prominence, Marconi's use of the word antenna (Italian for pole) spread
among wireless researchers, and later to the general public.


73 Karl W4KRL

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