PRIEST ROBERTO LANDELL DE MOURA
(The Brazilian Radioamateur Patron)
21.jan.1861 - 30.jun.1928


On September 25, 1981, the Council of LABRE (Brazilian Radio Amateur's 
League), responding to a suggestion from the State of Sao Paulo, 
declared the Priest Roberto Landell de Moura to be the Patron of all 
Brazilian radio amateurs. 
 
Landell de Moura, predecessor of Marconi, was the pioneer of the 
wireless telegraph. 
 
He was born in Porto Alegre, 1861, the son of Inácio Jose de Moura 
and Maria Landell. 
 
His interest in science probably came from his grandfather, a Scottish 
medical doctor, who studied in Oxford and emigrated to Brazil in 1824. 
 
Landell de Moura first attended the Jesuit School in Sao Leopoldo City.
In 1879, he went to Rio de Janeiro, where he attended the Polytechnic 
School, with his brother. He next went to Rome, where he studied physics 
and chemistry at the Gregorian University. 
 
Back in Brazil, he first lived at the Castle Mountain Convent, in Rio 
de Janeiro. He became chaplain for the Imperial family and a friend 
of King Dom Pedro II, who also had a great interest in the sciences. 
 
In 1887, he returned to Porto Alegre City as a teacher. Next, he was 
relocated to Uruguaiana and later, in 1892, to Sao Paulo. He also served 
in Santos, Campinas and Sao Paulo. 
 
A strong character, great benevolence and immovable courage made the 
Priest Landell de Moura an uncommon religious figure of his time. 
 
In the city of Campinas, he started to publish his revolutionary 
theories. His proposals about the propagation of sound waves upon light 
beams, instead of through the air, as well as other audacious declarations, 
such as the one below, caused a certain hostility from the church and 
incredulity among the faithful. "Give me a vibratory movement as large as 
the distance that separates us from these other worlds that roll our heads, 
or below our feet, and I will make the sound of my voice reach there." 
 
Between 1893 and 1894, he demonstrated his discoveries, transmitting voices 
and music a distance of 8km (from Av. Paulista to Alto Sant'Ana, in Sao 
Paulo City), with the authorities and press witnessing it. 
 
Six years later in Italy, Marconi sent his own radiogram for the first time. 
The Priest had to face many dificulties and accusations such as "of having 
made a pact with the devil". No support was given to him for the continuation 
of his experiments. Due to the rejection of his inventions, his laboratory 
and equipment were destroyed. 
 
His friends advised him to leave the religious life, but Landell de Moura 
insisted on showing that the Church is not an enemy of science. However, the 
Church interdicted his right to administer the sacraments such as baptism 
and marriage. Even so, he did not give up his goals and went to live in 
the USA. 
 
There he reinstalled his equipment and subsequently patented his inventions 
n Washington: the wireless telegraph, the wireless telephone and the wave 
transmitter. His experiments were gradually recognized and accepted and and 
he received some proposals to commercialize them. He refused the invitations, 
because he wanted to make those kinds of contracts exclusively with Brazilian 
enterprises. 
 
It was only in 1900 that he was able to patent an invention for the first time 
in Brazil. Due to this delay he lost the rights of the first register, which 
had been made a little earlier by Marconi. After returning to Brazil, he 
appealed for help from the President of Brazil to test his inventions. To that 
end he neeed two navy ships, located a certain distance from each other. The 
request derided and not approved. 
 
At that time, the Priest also spoke about the possibility of transmitting 
images over distances. He was talking about what we now call television. 
 
Harbored again by Church, Landell de Moura became vicar in Botucatu City and 
Mogi das Cruzes, returning later to Rio de Janeiro. He became famous for his 
extraordinary sermons. In 1927 he was designated Monsignor. 
 
Landell de Moura died on July 30, 1928 in the city of Porto Alegre. 
 
PP5ASN, Alda S. Niemeyer 
 
======================================================== 
 
This text was written based on the bibliography given below, which is the most 
complete souce of information on the subject. 
 
Ernani Fornari: "O incrivel Padre Landell de Moura ou A triste historia de um 
inventor brasileiro" (The incredible Priest Landell de Moura or The sad 
history of a brazilian inventor). Porto Alegre, Editora Globo, 1960. 
 
Arnaldo Nascimento e Murilo Sousa Reis: "Subsidios para saldar uma dívida" 
(Subsidies to pay a debt) published in Portugal. 
 
Fernando Canduro: "O homem que apertou o botao da comunicacao" (The man who 
pushed the communication button) Editora FEPLAN. Porto Alegre. 
 
Hamilton Almeida: "O outro lado da telecomunicacao - a saga do Padre Landell" 
(The other side of telecommunication). Editora Sulina, Porto Alegre, 1983.