Re: Marconi was a FRAUD and a PATENT THIEF
Indeed, the world of radio patents from 1890's onwards was as controversial as software patents today. Marconi was awarded a patent on his "black box", which turned out to contain the inventions of others. This was a major scandal at the time among those working on radio. And his patents on tuning were not novel; they just describe existing work of others. He was also supposed to be working for the GPO when he was making his refinements to radio, using public money and a team of GPO staff, but then refused to hand over the results of their work to the GPO, claiming it as his own. HIs first supposedly successful transatlantic transmission is also subject to serious doubt, and changes to make it work later (e.g. lowering the frequency) again appears to be based on the work of other. He ruthelesly expoited the Titanic disaster, claiming his radios had saved hundreds of lives (it is interesting that one of his associates at that time, Sarnoff -- who was embroilled in this story through some fiction about him somehow being involved as a telegraph operator -- was subsequently found to have misappropriated other inventions, including wideband FM, which ultimately lead to the sucide of the actual inventor).
Marconi is like Edison, Alexander Graham-Bell and other commercially successful "great inventors" who turned out not to have invented "their" inventions; he was very good at marketing, politicking, ruthlessly claiming the inventions of others, and gaming the patent system, and whose success seems to be based on lucky timing, combined with a complete absence of ethics or shame.
This is not to say we cannot acknowledge the achievements of Marconi and others for what they are; I just don't see why it is necessary to perpetuate these sanitised and fictionalised accounts, and continue to ignore or whitewash the more controversial aspects of their professional lifes. Doing so merely serves to belittle and ignore those who actually did the work on which the success of these "great inventors" was built.