Was Marconi mad?

My mother used sometimes to say
"They said Marconi was mad".
Guglielmo Marconi is often thought of as the inventor of radio and shared the 1903 Nobel prize for physics due to his work in this area. The point of the saying is that general opinion is not always right.
I'm not sure how common a saying it was or is but the phrase did feature in a Marx brothers skit.
Groucho: "They said Edison was mad! They said Einstein was mad! They said Marconi was mad! They said my uncle Herbert was mad!-"
Chico: "Your uncle Herbert? Nobody ever hoid of your Uncle Herbert!"
Groucho: "That's because he was mad!"

The term applies especially to Marconi as after inventing his wireless telegraph he wrote to the ministry of Post and Telegraphs, which at the time was under the direction of the honorable Pietro Lacava, explaining how the machine worked and asking for funding. He never received a response to his letter which was eventually dismissed by the minister who wrote "to the Longara" on the document, referring to the insane asylum on via della Lungara in Rome.

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