Celebrating Women’s History Month – Hedy Lamaar
Any classic movie buffs out there? Being women’s history month, team CB wanted to highlight one interesting and inspiring curly in history, and there is no place more fun to start than in Hollywood.
Webster’s dictionary defines the term “triple threat” as “a person that is adept in three different fields of activity.” Nobody deserves the term applied to them more than legendary actress Hedy Lamarr. She was born Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler in 1914 in Vienna, Austria. After starring in German, Czech, and Austrian films in the early 1930s, she left an abusive marriage to a man with Nazi ties in 1937. She fled to London, was discovered, and ended up starring in her first Hollywood role in 1938. She was billed as “the world’s most beautiful woman” during her movie career (we can see why!). Some of her notable roles were from films including Comrade X and Boom Town, alongside co-star Clark Gable, and, Come Live With Me alongside co-star Jimmy Stewart.
When the United States began its active role in the war, Hedy almost left her acting career to join the inventor’s council in Washington, DC because she wanted to be of more help to the war effort. Apart from being “the world’s most beautiful woman” and one of Hollywood’s brightest stars, Hedy was an absolute genius. In response to learning that American, radio-controlled torpedoes were getting easily jammed in the Pacific, Hedy and fellow collaborators invented something patented as a “Secret Communication System.” Essentially her invention was a device that would cause radio-frequencies to hop all over the place, making the torpedoes unjammable. This technology eventually laid the cornerstone for things we enjoy today like Bluetooth and Wi-fi. When she pitched her invention to the U.S. Navy, they refused it due to the invention being created by a civilian and “too complicated.” In other words, her invention was too far ahead of its time! Hedy’s communication system eventually gained steam in the 50s and early 60s when technology finally began to catch up.
Hedy Lamarr was posthumously inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2014 for her contributions. If you have listened to your wireless headphones or connected to a Wi-fi network today, say a quick “thank you” to this brilliant curl! This month – and forever – we are celebrating curly women in all their glory.