Born in Saltoun, Scotland and deafened by a fall at an early age. Privately tutored until age 15 and graduated University College, London. Worked in his father's telegraph engineering firm, where he developed and patented improvements in telegraphy, and electrical measurements; also developed "wireless telegraphy" (radio) in partnership with Sir Oliver Lodge. Although Lodge gave the first public demonstration of radio in 1894, using Muirhead's equipment, Lodge's failure to pursue the possibilities of radio led to Guglielmo Marconi's becoming credited as the primary inventor and pioneer of radio. In 1901, Lodge and Muirhead established a wireless-telegraphy company in competition with Marconi, but Marconi's head start proved impossible to overcome. The Oxford Museum of Natural History has a permanent exhibition of radio equipment patented or manufactured by Muirhead.
Deaf Lives, p.137.