FEMILIST FRIDAY: HEDY LAMARR

#11
  1. Actress and inventor
  2. 1914 - Born as Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler in Austria-Hungary.
  3. She had a film career in Germany, then left for Paris where she met an MGM exec who offered her a movie contract in Hollywood.
  4. Hedy's film career was mostly in the 30s - 50s. Some of her most well-known films are Algiers, Comrade X, and Samson and Delilah.
  5. She was typecast into roles where she said very little and was generally present for her looks. As a result, it is said that she took up inventing to relieve boredom.
  6. She invented an improved traffic stoplight and is credited with coming up with the patented technology that led to Bluetooth, wifi, and other modern communication technologies.
    Her first husband was an Austrian arms merchant, and during WWII the ease of jamming radio-controlled torpedoes and changing their track caught her attention. The technology she patented allowed a later version to be built into Navy ships (1960s) which allowed for increased security of military operations.
  7. She had no formal training in these technologies and was named (along with her co-inventor) to the National Inventors Hall of Fame (2014).
  8. 1953 - Became a US citizen.
  9. After a few shoplifting incidents and declining movie roles she moved to Florida and became very isolated, rarely leaving her home.
  10. Hedy passed away in 2000 at the age of 85.
    Her invention has been featured on Discovery Channel and the Science Channel. Susan Sarandon's production company is apparently making a documentary about Hedy's life.