Long Island radio groups celebrate International Marconi Day in Babylon


Babylon Village celebrated its first-ever International Marconi Day this past weekend.

The day commemorates Guglielmo Marconi, Italian radio pioneer and Babylon resident, who was the first to send a radio transmission across the Atlantic Ocean back in 1901. His work later won him a Nobel Prize in physics eight years later.

Each year, radio operators from around the world honor Marconi by transmitting to each other during the Saturday closest to his birthday. He was born April 25, 1874.

This year, the Long Island CW Amateur Radio Club, the Marconi Lodge of the Sons of Italy and the Great South Bay Amateur Radio Club stationed along Fire Island Avenue to join in on the transmissions.

“We put on stations worldwide who are commemorating Marconi on his birthday,” said Walter Grosser, a HAM radio operator of the Great South Bay Amateur Radio Club.

Grosser, known by his call sign W2TE, made contact with several countries using his club’s mobile transmission station.

He and his team set up around 6 a.m. and ran and received transmissions until 6 p.m.

“We’ve contacted hundreds of stations, mostly in Europe,” said Grosser, who has been in radio for 70 years.

The groups set up shop by Lewis Circle Marina on Fire Island Avenue near a small shack Marconi operated from when he lived in Babylon Village in 1902.

To learn more about the Marconi Building, click here.

Great South Bay Amateur Radio Club’s transmission station in Babylon Village.

Top: Salli Rosato and Walter Grosser operating radio transmissions on Internationl Marconi Day.