Hedy Lamarr: '30s film diva, mobile phone tech pioneer, anti-Nazi gadget inventor.


26 Responses to “Hedy Lamarr: '30s film diva, mobile phone tech pioneer, anti-Nazi gadget inventor.”

  1. dculberson says:

    “the first actress to simulate an orgasm onscreen in 1933″

    And no link? Ahh, jeez.

  2. MajorD says:

    Damn! You beat me to it!

  3. Glenn Fleishman says:

    There’s also a book on this topic, that appears to be freely readable at Google Books: Spread Spectrum: Hedy Lamarr and the Mobile Phone.

  4. hisdevineshadow says:

    I am very attracted to beautiful, smart women.

  5. MattF says:

    Right– ‘Spread Spectrum’ is the correct term. It has the nice property (foretold in a sci-fi story whose name I don’t remember) that it encodes messages in a ‘dense’ fashion– the signal looks like noise.

  6. Anonymous says:

    kaosmonkey: Wow. I think I just dropped my pearls.

  7. dr.hypercube says:

    She was a pretty popular topic for Ada Lovelace Day posts – mine’s here: http://hawkdog.net/wordpress/archives/1002 . Me ‘n Hedy, getting on a Short flying boat for the run to Kenya to visit the Happy Valley set – sigh.

  8. Anonymous says:

    if you’re interested in other inventions by women check out http://www.inventivewomen.com by Annie Wood and Circle Media. Hedy’s in there. Annie has another site http://www.inventivekids.com, all about inventions by children that’s lots of fun…

  9. sisyphus321 says:

    sigh …

    CDMA doesn’t use frequency hopping. CDMA uses code-space orthogonality, not frequency orthogonality.

    GSM, on the other hand, does have a frequency hopping mode for interference avoidence.

    Can’t you guys get anything right?

  10. Anonymous says:

    I would think BB readers would want to thank Heddy for wifi more than cordless phones, both being applications of spread spectrum technology.

  11. kaosmonkey says:

    @ dculberson

    your link, sir.


    Note the “string of pearls” falling to the floor at the climactic moment. Touché!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Never lovelier then in her film banned in America, “Ekstase” from 1933. Below is a still shot showing why it was banned. She did her version of the famous scene from WHEN HARRY MET SALLY in the water, rather then in a restaurant, and without clothes.

    Without clothes:

    With clothes:

  13. eti says:

    She’s getting way too much credit for this relative to Antheil’s contributions.

  14. Antinous / Moderator says:

    ♫ Let’s talk of Lamarr, that Hedy so fair
    Why does she let Joan Bennett wear all her old hair? ♫

    The above Cole Porter lyric will be meaningless to anyone under 50.

  15. MrsBug says:


    And today, we have Lindsay Lohan and Megan Fox. How sad. ;)

  16. Xeni Jardin says:

    Antinous, what does it mean? I am under 50.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      Antinous, what does it mean?

      Ms. Bennett styled her hair to become the ersatz Hedy Lamarr. By the time she starred in Dark Shadows, she had graduated to wearing Joan Crawford’s old hair.

  17. Anonymous says:

    She was also the cover art for Corel Draw. Used without permission of course. So she sued their asses off.

  18. agoodsandwich says:

    spread what? *cough*

    I’m so sorry, that was inappropriate. But seriously, I am very attracted to smart women.

  19. Teller says:

    The operative word in “onscreen.”

  20. Anonymous says:

    Clearly her mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives.

  21. Keeper of the Lantern says:


    Spread spectrum ain’t no mere “gadget”…it’s the basis for modern cellphone communications. CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) is simply a digital variant of Spread Spectrum.

  22. grimc says:

    On a side note, Lucille Ball claimed that during WWII, fillings in her teeth intercepted radio transmissions from enemy spies, leading to their capture.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Thats Hedly.

  24. InsertFingerHere says:

    Not to be confused with ‘Hedley’.

  25. Anonymous says:

    That’s HEADLY!

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