We May Not Have Wi-Fi If It Weren’t For ’40s Actress Hedy Lamarr

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Most of us have Wi-Fi connections these days. It helps us stay connected with others. You might not realize that ’40s actress Hedy Lamarr actually invented the technology that helped make Wi-Fi connections work.

The glamourous actress was also a brilliant inventor. She invented a secret torpedo guidance system during WWII. She once said, “I got the idea for my invention when I tried to think of some way to even the balance for the British. A radio-controlled torpedo I thought would do it.”

Hedy Lamarr was not only an actress but an inventor who helped eventually bring us Wi-Fi

COME LIVE WITH ME, Hedy Lamarr, 1941
COME LIVE WITH ME, Hedy Lamarr, 1941 / Everett Collection

Reportedly, she knew that radio signals could get jammed but she figured out how to synchronize the frequency changes. She worked with composer and pianist George Antheil with the help of an electrical engineer. Together, they patented the invention in 1942. They decided to present it to the U.S. Navy, however, the Navy rejected it!

RELATED: Gal Gadot May Play Actress And Inventor Hedy Lamarr In A New Mini-Series

hedy lamarr patent
The patent / Flickr

Later, the U.S. government seized the patient “as the property of an enemy alien.” For a while, it was a secret, until they shared it with other contractors. Eventually, it was used to develop the technology that created wireless connections! Sadly, Hedy and George were never paid for their incredible invention. They were only recognized for it in 1997.

THE HEAVENLY BODY, Hedy Lamarr, 1944
THE HEAVENLY BODY, Hedy Lamarr, 1944 / Everett Collection

Hedy died just three years later. Luckily, she was recognized for her invention before she passed away but that wasn’t the case for George. He died in 1959. Did you know that the actress was part of the team that invented the technology that helped develop Wi-Fi connections? Pretty neat!

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The post We May Not Have Wi-Fi If It Weren’t For ’40s Actress Hedy Lamarr appeared first on DoYouRemember? – The Home of Nostalgia. Author, Lauren Novak

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