BY OYINDAMOLA BAMBGOLA
Hedy Lamarr (real name Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler) was born 101 years ago. The Austrian-American Hollywood actress was once known as the most beautiful woman in Europe, but this accolade and the glitz and glamour that came with it was not enough for her. Hedy was bored.
In her search for more, Hedy Lamarr became interested in applied science.
During the World War II (1940s), Hedy spotted an issue with the radio signals used in communicating on the battlefield. In her bid to solve the problem, she invented a ‘frequency hopping‘ system and shared her idea with music composer George Antheil. Her invention would become the precursor to many wireless technologies we use today, including Bluetooth, GPS and Wi-Fi.
Google is celebrating Hedy Lamarr with this fantastic animated Doodle today.
Pulitzer Prize-winning author, journalist and historian Richard Rhodes set out to rewrite America’s memory of Hedy Lamarr with his 2011 book Hedy’s Folly: The Life and Breakthrough Inventions of Hedy Lamarr, The Most Beautiful Woman in the World.
According to Rhodes, Hedy didn’t drink and was not a fan of partying.
Her idea of a good evening was a quiet dinner party with some intelligent friends where they could discuss ideas — which sounds so un-Hollywood, but Hedy had to find something else to do to occupy her time.
R.I.P Hedy Lamarr, actress by day, inventor by night.