Who says you can't be pretty AND smart?
Hedy Lamarr is a perfect example
of a woman who was both a beautiful actress and a great inventor. In fact,
her invention has become the basis for satellite communications we have
Hedy grew up in Germany and later married a man who made and sold guns to
the German army. This was the beginning of World War II, and Hedy was very
much against Germany's actions during the war.
Hedy decided to leave her
country for safety in London. It was there that Hedy decided she wanted to
help with the war effort. She came up with the idea that torpedos could be
launched using a certain radio frequency. But, Hedy learned that this
radio frequency could be jammed by the Germans, making the torpedos not be
able to launch.
Hedy worked with another inventor, George Antheil, to
create a system where the radio signals would "jump" from one frequency to
another. This way, the signal could not be jammed and the torpedos could
be launched successfully.
Image from www.inventorsmuseum.com
While Hedy was working on her invention she met Louis B. Mayer, who signed
her as an actress with MGM studios. Hedy went on to star in such movies as
"Samson and Delilah", but she had to keep the fact that she was an inventor
a secret. MGM did not want the world to know that their lovely actress was
also a great inventor.
It is Hedy's invention that is the basis for the satellite technology we
have today. Not only does Hedy's legend as a great actress live on, but so
does her amazing invention.