The Marconi Company was a British telecommunications and engineering company that existed from 1897 until 2006, undergoing numerous changes, mergers and acquisitions during that time.
The company was founded in 1897 by the Italian inventor Guglielmo Marconi and was originally known as The Wireless Telegraph & Signal Company.
The firm opened the world’s first radio factory in Hall Street, Chelmsford in 1898.
In 1890 the company name was changed to Marconi’s Wireless Telegraph Company.
In 1912 the Marconi Works at New Street, Chelmsford was designed and erected to replace the works at Hall Street, which had become inadequate for the needs of the growing company. The premises ultimately became the Marconi company headquarters and remained a Marconi site until 2003.
Marconi’s was a pioneer of wireless long distance communications and mass media broadcasting, eventually becoming one of the UK’s most successful manufacturing companies.
In 1999 its defence manufacturing division, Marconi Electronic Systems, merged with British Aerospace to form BAE Systems.
In 2006 extreme financial difficulties led to the collapse of the remaining company, with the bulk of the business acquired by Ericsson.