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Hedy Lamarr’s World War II Adventure
NYTimes ^ | December 15, 2011 | JOHN ADAMS

Posted on 12/20/2011 9:27:15 PM PST by Tex-Con-Man

...

Hedy Lamarr avoided the celebrity party circuit, preferring small gatherings with close friends. At home she set up a drafting table and devoted her downtime to inventions, including a bouillon-like cube that when mixed with water would produce an instant soft drink. It was at a dinner at the home of the actress Janet Gaynor in 1940 that she met George ­Antheil.

According to Antheil’s autobiography, “Bad Boy of Music,” Hedy requested the meeting because she had read one of his Esquire articles about glands. This was Hollywood, and the most beautiful woman in the world was concerned about her breast size. Could Mr. Antheil help? A friendship began that evening, kindled by the encounter of two imaginative and inventive minds...

...

What drew Rhodes to the twin story of the Bad Boy of Music and “the most beautiful woman in the world” was their invention of a radio-controlled “spread spectrum” torpedo-guidance system, for which they received a patent in 1942.

That a glamorous movie star whose day job involved hours of makeup calls and dress fittings would spend her off hours designing sophisticated weapons systems is one of the great curiosities of Hollywood history. Lamarr, however, not only possessed a head for abstract spatial relationships, but she also had been in her former life a fly on the wall during meetings and technical discussions between her ­munitions-manufacturer husband and his clients, some of them Nazi officials. Disturbed by news reports of innocents killed at sea by U-boats, she was determined to help defeat the German attacks. And Ant­heil, arguably the most mechanically inclined of all composers, having long before mastered the byzantine mechanisms of pneumatic piano rolls, retained a special genius for “out of the box” problem ­solving.

...

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: hedylamarr; invention; spreadspectrum; torpedo
This is a book review of Richard Rhodes’s new book, “Hedy’s Folly.”

The review goes into much greater detail and is worth following the link and reading the entire article.

1 posted on 12/20/2011 9:27:17 PM PST by Tex-Con-Man
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To: Tex-Con-Man

Sexiest woman to trample her footprint into the Earth.


2 posted on 12/20/2011 9:29:53 PM PST by hobbes1 (Hobbes1TheOmniscient® "St.Sarah, the1Tru Conservative that REFUSES to unite us and Save America")
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To: hobbes1

Sexiest woman to trample her footprint into the Earth.


Definately. None can compare.


3 posted on 12/20/2011 9:34:28 PM PST by unkus (Silence Is Consent)
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To: Tex-Con-Man
Hedley Lamarr?

What a weird story.

4 posted on 12/20/2011 9:37:06 PM PST by Lazlo in PA (Now living in a newly minted Red State.)
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To: Lazlo in PA

Hedley? What the hell are you worried about? This is 1874. You’ll be able to sue her.


5 posted on 12/20/2011 9:40:03 PM PST by Tex-Con-Man (T. Coddington Van Voorhees VII 2012 - "Together, I Shall Ride You To Victory")
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To: hobbes1

One step behind Ava Gardner.


6 posted on 12/20/2011 9:42:10 PM PST by 353FMG
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To: 353FMG

Mickey rooney was Ava’s first husband. He was 21, she was 19.

No wonder Mickey was always smiling.


7 posted on 12/20/2011 9:46:20 PM PST by unkus (Silence Is Consent)
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To: Tex-Con-Man

Gorgeous and smart, but a bit humor-challenged;)


8 posted on 12/20/2011 9:48:09 PM PST by Frank_2001
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To: Tex-Con-Man

“THAT’S HEDLEY!!!”

(Sorry...it had to be said....:-)


9 posted on 12/20/2011 9:49:33 PM PST by M1903A1 ("We shed all that is good and virtuous for that which is shoddy and sleazy... and call it progress")
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To: 353FMG

Lets not get crazy ; )

Ava was not ...inventing...


10 posted on 12/20/2011 9:49:51 PM PST by hobbes1 (Hobbes1TheOmniscient® "St.Sarah, the1Tru Conservative that REFUSES to unite us and Save America")
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To: Tex-Con-Man


11 posted on 12/20/2011 9:50:14 PM PST by Talisker (History will show the Illuminati won the ultimate Darwin Award.)
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To: M1903A1

sorry Governor.


12 posted on 12/20/2011 9:50:23 PM PST by hobbes1 (Hobbes1TheOmniscient® "St.Sarah, the1Tru Conservative that REFUSES to unite us and Save America")
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To: Talisker

Cool drawing. I was going to say this thread is worthless without pictures, but....


13 posted on 12/20/2011 9:52:26 PM PST by 21twelve
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To: unkus

Agreed, with Dana Wynter coming in a very close second.


14 posted on 12/20/2011 9:54:47 PM PST by Cyman
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To: Lazlo in PA

looking at Hedy Lamarr: “Ecstasy”


15 posted on 12/20/2011 9:57:22 PM PST by donmeaker (e is trancendental)
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16 posted on 12/20/2011 9:58:04 PM PST by Tex-Con-Man (T. Coddington Van Voorhees VII 2012 - "Together, I Shall Ride You To Victory")
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To: Tex-Con-Man

Never heard of her until my Father-in-Law died and my Husband received a trunk with an autographed picture of her.

She was a beautiful women. Classic beauty, unlike the stars that we have now.


17 posted on 12/20/2011 10:01:01 PM PST by submarinerswife (Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, while expecting different results~Einstein)
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To: donmeaker

Out of all the chicks from back then the one that would top Hedy was for me is Dorothy Lamour. Main reason I love all the “Road” movies. Even the bad ones.


18 posted on 12/20/2011 10:07:25 PM PST by Lazlo in PA (Now living in a newly minted Red State.)
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To: M1903A1

Bart Kosko, the Fuzzy Logic guru and exponent, was giving a talk years ago on his favored subject. He asked the audience if they knew who had invented frequency-hopping spread spectrum technology during WW II.

Your humble corresponent raised his hand with some relish (he’d just eaten a hot dog).

“Hedley Lamar!” he exclaimed.


19 posted on 12/20/2011 10:17:22 PM PST by Erasmus (Rage, rage, against the dying of the light. Or, get out your 50mm/1.2.)
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To: Erasmus

Did he answer “That’s HEDY!” :-)


20 posted on 12/20/2011 10:21:11 PM PST by M1903A1 ("We shed all that is good and virtuous for that which is shoddy and sleazy... and call it progress")
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To: Tex-Con-Man
Richard Rhodes wrote two highly readable histories of nuclear weapons.

The first, written in the late 80's, was The Making of the Atomic Bomb.

The second was written after the fall of the Soviet Union, when the author had access to Russian archives and the surviving Russian physicists. It carried the history of Nuke development through the early hydrogen bombs. It was titled Dark Sun.

21 posted on 12/20/2011 10:22:18 PM PST by Erasmus (Rage, rage, against the dying of the light. Or, get out your 50mm/1.2.)
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To: Cyman

Agreed, with Dana Wynter coming in a very close second.


Oh yes. She died earlier this year.


22 posted on 12/20/2011 10:22:57 PM PST by unkus (Silence Is Consent)
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To: Tex-Con-Man

The story of Hedy Lamarr and George Antheil is one that most wireless engineers and geeks know by heart. Had Hedy Lamarr not met George Antheil, we would not have had spread spectrum until just before the Cuban Missile crisis.

As it is, she never received a dime for her invention and the Navy had no clue what to do with it!

Beauty and brains and a talented actress. Sadly, she died penniless and alone in central Florida about 10 years ago.

She deserved better. Thank you, Hedy. Your contribution to science and engineering has provide a LOT of work for a LOT of people!!


23 posted on 12/20/2011 10:23:08 PM PST by DustyMoment (Congress - Another name for white collar criminals!!)
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To: M1903A1

Actually, he said, “I got that.”


24 posted on 12/20/2011 10:24:31 PM PST by Erasmus (Rage, rage, against the dying of the light. Or, get out your 50mm/1.2.)
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To: submarinerswife

. Classic beauty, unlike the stars that we have now.


There is very, very little class today.


25 posted on 12/20/2011 10:25:43 PM PST by unkus (Silence Is Consent)
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To: Lazlo in PA

Gene Tierney was the one for me.


26 posted on 12/20/2011 10:33:14 PM PST by packrat35 (Heartless)
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To: Tex-Con-Man

Nice the author finally got around to mentioning her patented invention of spread spectrum communications - a stunning accomplishment.


27 posted on 12/20/2011 10:35:50 PM PST by bigbob
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To: Tex-Con-Man

28 posted on 12/20/2011 10:39:31 PM PST by Old Sarge (RIP FReeper Skyraider (1930-2011) - You Are Missed)
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To: Cyman

The 30’s and 40’s produced many gorgeous women.


29 posted on 12/20/2011 10:46:16 PM PST by unkus (Silence Is Consent)
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To: Old Sarge

Ah, Delilah. One of the most beautifully scored movies ever. Not a bad plot either.


30 posted on 12/20/2011 10:50:20 PM PST by Mach9
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To: Tex-Con-Man

Shop regularly at a Publix supermarket that they caught Hedy shoplifting at. Disfigured by bad plastic surgery later in life and became virtually a recluse, so I hear. So sad.


31 posted on 12/20/2011 11:04:23 PM PST by Southern Magnolia
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To: Mach9

In her/our day she was promoted as the most beautiful woman in the world. At the time I agreed, then came Elizabeth Taylor.


32 posted on 12/20/2011 11:04:35 PM PST by WVNan (!)
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To: WVNan

Yes, the same strain. I thought Vivien Leigh fit in there, too. All with an ethereal edge.


33 posted on 12/20/2011 11:10:26 PM PST by Mach9
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To: bigbob
spread spectrum communications

Refer to the post immediately after yours to fully understand the term you used so casually.
34 posted on 12/20/2011 11:21:58 PM PST by crazyhorse691 (Obama is just the symptom of what is destroying the U.S.)
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To: Tex-Con-Man

A friend of mine works for a major manufacturer of electronics/telecommunications devices. She said that even today they use some of the ideas of Hedy Lamarr and George Antheil..


35 posted on 12/20/2011 11:26:03 PM PST by sockmonkey (He's not perfect, but Perry is no wussy boy)
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To: M1903A1
“THAT’S HEDLEY!!!”

Like Milt Romney.

36 posted on 12/21/2011 4:46:17 AM PST by Graybeard58 (No Obama, No Romney, No Paul, No Huntsman. We can do better than that!)
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To: unkus

100% agree. I was born in the 70s fwiw.


37 posted on 12/21/2011 4:56:13 AM PST by wally_bert (It's sheer elegance in its simplicity! - The Middleman)
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To: Southern Magnolia; All

Sadly reminiscent of another hugh star of the 40’s, Betty Hutton, who disppeared and was later found working as a cook in a rectory.
She only recently passed away in 2007.


38 posted on 12/21/2011 7:33:00 AM PST by patriot08 (TEXAS GAL- born and bred and proud of it!)
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To: Tex-Con-Man

I knew when I read the article title that someone would post a Hedley remark. Probably one of the funniest movies ever made!


39 posted on 12/21/2011 7:48:18 AM PST by ops33 (Senior Master Sergeant, USAF (Retired))
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To: ops33
Probably one of the funniest movies ever made!

And a movie that could never be made in today's America.

40 posted on 12/21/2011 10:46:00 AM PST by norton
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To: Tex-Con-Man

All the women mentioned were beautiful, but don’t forget Rita Hayworth, Lauren Bacall, Debra Kerr, Ann Baxter etc. Betty Grable was a looker and on Posters in many young soldier’s lockers during WWII. During the 1940’s and early ‘50s most of the famous Movie stars were stand outs—both Women and Men! The Men were so Handsome and masculine. The Women were very beautiful ; each of them were very different. Now so many of both sexes seem to look too much alike.


41 posted on 12/21/2011 11:52:14 AM PST by Patsygirl
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