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Woman of the Month - Hedy Lamarr

Actress and inventor Hedy Lamarr (née Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler) was born on November 9, 1914 in Vienna, Austria. She appeared in 30 films during her 28 year film career.

At the start of WWII, Lamarr, along with with George Anthiell, developed a radio guidance system using frequency-hopping spread spectrum technology that would help torpedoes not be tracked or jammed. They received a patent in August 1942. Although the Navy didn’t use the technology during the war, an updated version was installed on Navy ships during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. We now use some spread-spectrum techniques in Bluetooth today.

Lamarr was primarily self taught. Some of her other ideas and inventions included an improved traffic stoplight, a tablet that would dissolve in water to make a carbonated drink, and suggesting to Howard Hughes that he change his planes shapes from the square design to a more streamlined shape.