Brazilian Radio Inventor Arrived Ahead"

Source: "Marconi uma Ova!," an article by Geraldo Nunes in the weekly magazine of the newspaper *Diario Popular* Number 48, October 5, 1997.
The article was based in Reynaldo C. Tavare's book, *Historias que o Radio Nao Contou.*

by Geraldo Nunes

"Brazilian Catholic priest Landell de Moura tested positively a radio device in Sao Paulo, in 1893, two years ahead of Marconi.

"This is a story of individual vision and collective shortsightness. Back in 19th century Brazil, the only way you could become a scientist was by first becoming a member of the Catholic Church. That was what Landell de Moura (born in January 21, 1861, dead July 30 1928) did in 1879, in order to be accepted at the Gregorian University in Italy. There he met Guglielmo Marconi, who was then studying the telegraph, while Moura went to researching radio transmission.

"Back in Brazil he was met with indifference by local Church officials. After insisting on his projects for some time and suffering a lot of transferral from one town to another, he ended up in Sao Paulo, capital of a State with the same name, a city in which he found means to build his 'emissor de ondas' or wave emitter.

"In 1893, in the Paulista Avenue, he tested his emissor de ondas, contacting a receiver installed at Alto de Santana, a place 8 kilometers from the emitter site. This was two years ahead of Marconi, and while Marconi's device could work only with morse code, Moura's emissor de ondas could really transmit the human voice.

"Moura proceeded to get a patent registered in Sao Paulo, and other three in the US == among them were a hertzian wave transmitter, a wireless telephone and telegraph.

"Yet his discoveries and inventions were badly received by the Church intelligentsia in Brazil, which claimed talking from place to place without a wire could only be a 'Devil's deed.' When looking for government support Landell de Moura was treated as a crazy dumb idiot, and in 1904 his patents expired.

"Eventually, in the 20s, the radio was introduced in Brazil and become a major cultural feature, and everybody of course honored Marconi for that."

Roberto de Sousa Causo  roberto.causo@dks.com.br