Jozef Murgaš

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Jozef Murga was a Slovak inventor, painter, and priest who made significant contributions to wireless communications development. He was intelligent and cunning from an early age, with a keen interest in drawing and science. He was unable to continue his studies after graduation due to financial constraints, so he opted to become a priest. However, after a Slovak painter noticed his flair for painting, he was accepted into an arts school and went on to become a successful painter. He painted religious works, Slovak landscapes, and Slovak people. Later, he came to the United States and established a workshop, which enabled him to conduct wireless technology tests. He achieved a breakthrough and developed a new way of wireless transmission after years of research and hard labor. He devised a musical tone system that allowed for speedier identification of Morse code signals as well as long-distance radio transmission. When the United States entered the First World War in 1917, all private radio-telegraphic stations were outlawed. Following that, he worked in Czechoslovakia to establish a unified state for Czechs and Slovaks. He gave over his entire life’s research and patent rights to Marconi once his health deteriorated, as he did not want his work to be lost after his death. He was a generous individual whose contributions to a better society are valued at incalculable amounts.

Childhood and Adolescence

Ján Murga and his wife, Zuzana, gave birth to Jozef Murga on February 17, 1864, in Tajov, Kingdom of Hungary, Austrian Empire (present-day Slovakia). He was gifted in painting and science from an early age. He attended a grammar school in Tajov before continuing on to Banská Bystrica to complete his high school education.

Jozef’s parents were unable to provide financial assistance for his continued education, so he opted to become a priest. He studied theology at Preporok from 1880 to 1882, then continued in Esztergom from 1882 to 1884 before graduating in Banska Bystrica in 1888. He served as a curate for a while after being ordained in 1888 and was immediately approached by Dominik Skuteck, a Slovak painter who saw his creative talent.

Skuteck was admitted to the Provincial School of Visual Arts, a painting school in Budapest, on his own initiative, where he studied between 1889 and 1890. He then moved to Munich to study painting from 1890 to 1893.

Career of Jozef Murgaš

After being accused of Pan-Slavism, Jozef Murga went to America in 1896 and settled among his fellow countrymen in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, where he resided until his death. With little prospects for a painting career, he returned to natural sciences, this time concentrating on electrotechnology. He established a laboratory at Wilkes-Barre, where he focused on radiotelegraphy research.

The Patent Office in Washington granted him the rights to two essential inventions in May 1904: the ‘Wireless-Telegraph Apparatus’ and the ‘Method of Communicating Intelligence by Wireless Telegraphy.’
He devised the ‘Musical Tone System’ of wireless telegraphy in 1904, which allowed for speedier Morse code transmission.

In November 1905, he made a 50-word-per-minute (WPM) radio broadcast between Wilkes-Barre and Scranton, a 20-mile distance, while Marconi’s equipment could only produce 15 WPM. Between 1907 and 1916, he added numerous more patents to his name. ‘Wave Meter,’ ‘Electric Transformers,’ ‘Apparatus for producing electromagnetic waves,’ (1908), ‘Wireless telegraphy,’ ‘Magnetic waves detector,’ and ‘Spinning reel for fishing rod’ were just a few of them.

Private radiotelegraphy stations were outlawed when the United States entered World War I, putting an end to his pioneering efforts in this field. He returned to Slovakia in 1920 after the formation of Czechoslovakia, where he began teaching electrotechnology at a high school. He returned to Wilkes-Barre four months later after a disagreement with the Ministry of Education in Prague.

Later, on the recommendation of Thomas Edison, Marconi paid a visit to Jozef Murga, who was in poor condition. He also lacked financing and did not want all of his research to be lost once he died. As a result, he gave Marconi his patents and his life’s work, which was important in the development of radio in the future.

Major Projects of Jozef Murgaš

He established radio transmission between Wilkes-Barre and Scranton, Pennsylvania, 20 miles apart, in 1905.

He took care of Slovak immigrants in Wilkes-Barre and assisted in the construction of a new church, library, cemetery, many schools, gyms, and playgrounds. He also co-founded the Slovak Catholic Federation and the Saints Cyril and Methodius community.

He was an ardent member of the Slovak expatriates’ movement and a supporter of the formation of Czechoslovakia. He also signed the Pittsburgh Agreement, which brought Czechs and Slovaks together.

Personal History and Legacy

On May 11, 1929, in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania, USA, Jozef Murga died of a heart attack. He was laid to rest in the Sacred Heart Cemetery in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, United States of America.
The ‘Jozef Murga Award,’ established in his honor by the ‘Slovak Electrotechnical Society and Ministry of Transport, Posts, and Telecommunications of the Slovak Republic,’ is given yearly to stimulate the growth of telecommunications in Slovakia.

Estimated Net Worth

Jozef is one of the wealthiest inventors and one of the most well-known inventors. Jozef Murgas’ net worth is estimated to be $1.5 million, according to Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider.