Edwin Howard Armstrong was born on December 18, 1890 in Manhattan, New York, United States. He was the first child of John and Emily Smith Armstrong, both native New Yorkers. His mother had been a teacher in the public schools; his father was vice president of the United States branch of the Oxford University Press. The family soon moved to the suburban town of Yonkers, New York, where they lived in a house on a bluff over-looking the Hudson River. Armstrong decided to become an inventor when he was fourteen and began filling his bedroom with a clutter of homemade wireless gear. His imagination was fired by the Boy's Book of Inventions and by Guglielmo Marconi, who a few years before had sent the first wireless signals across the Atlantic.