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The Story of the Sexy Screen Starlet Turned Patent Holder

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The November 28th, 2011 edition of Newsweek magazine featured an interesting article on a rather unexpected inventor – the “most beautiful woman in the world” actress Hedy Lamarr.

The story of how she became a patent holder is an interesting one…

It start in 1931 with a Czech art film called Ecstasy. In it is a nude scene that caught the eye of ammunition manufacturer Fritz Mandl. They marry, and the young bride is soon attending dinner parties with generals and scientists who regale her with their stories of advances in missile technology.

Fast forward ten years and she’s in Hollywood hearing stories of German torpedoes downing boats in the North Atlantic during the blitz. Recalling the details of the discussions with her ex-husbands colleagues, she turns inventor to help the war effort.

The Newsweek article mentions a few of her inventions: the radio-controlled submarine missile-guidance system, the anti-aircraft shell with a proximity fuse and the fizzing cube (turns water
into soda).

But the one I found most interesting is the Secret Communications System.

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