In 1865 (19 years before Guglielmo Marconi was even born), Mahlon Loomis flew two kites, 14--18 miles apart. The kites had 600ft wires attacked to them. Both ends were grounded; one through a galvanometer. When he disconnected and reconnected one end, the amount of current flowing through the other end changed. He thus was the first person to achieve wireless, electronic communication.
He was awarded U.S. patent #129,971 for his system, but failed in commercializing it through the Loomis Aerial Telegraph Company.
It wasn't until 1895 that Guglielmo Marconi sent a radio transmission.