Ladies We Love: Hedy Lamarr, Math Genius Who Laid Foundations for Advent of WiFi (No Big Deal)

I’m only four ladies in to this series and I’m already overwhelmed by how accomplished these women are, and how instrumental they were in so much of what we take for granted today.

Hedy Lamarr was an Austrian-American actress who, at the age of 28, worked with composer George Antheil during World War II on a frequency-hopping radio that could be used to, say, control torpedoes remotely as to avoid detection. She and Antheil were granted a patent for their “secret communication system” in 1942.

While the technology wasn’t actually used by U.S. military until 1962 against Cuba, it became the basis for today’s modem-spread technology — wifi, Bluetooth, CDMA (how cordless phones operate)

Of note on her Wikipedia page: “Lamarr wanted to join the National Inventors Council but was reportedly told by NIC member Charles F. Kettering and others that she could better help the war effort by using her celebrity status to sell War Bonds.”