Hedy LamarHedy Lamarr was an Austrian-born American actress and scientist. Through her career as an actress, she was in more than 30 films including her biggest success as Delilah in Cecil B. DeMille’s Samson and Delilah, the highest-grossing film of 1949.
Her contributions to science and technology have had a much more important and lasting impression.
In June 1941, Lamarr submitted the idea of a secret communication system with avant garde composer George Antheil. This early version of frequency hopping was intended to make radio-guided torpedoes harder for enemies to detect or jam. The invention used slotted paper rolls similar to player-piano rolls to synchronize the frequency changes in transmitter and receiver, and it even called for exactly eighty-eight frequencies, the number of keys on a piano.
On August 11, 1942 the two inventors were granted U.S. Patent 2,292,387. Continue reading “Famous Women Inventors: Hedy Lamarr – Contributor to the Invention of the Cell Phone”

In 1903, it rarely occurred to anyone that rain on a moving vehicle’s windshield was a problem that could be eliminated. It was something drivers simply accepted and dealt with in their own ways, usually by stopping every once in a while and manually scraping off the windshield moisture that was causing them to see poorly while they were driving. A young woman named Mary Anderson changed all that with her invention of the windshield wiper, an idea that leapt into her mind as she traveled from Alabama to New York City.

Little is known about Mary Anderson, except for the incident that inspired her infamous creation. When Anderson got to New York, the weather was rather sloppy, and she saw drivers constantly stopping their cars and getting out to remove snow and ice from the windshields. Anderson decided this method could be improved. She began to draw up plans for a device that could be activated from inside the car to clear the windshield. Continue reading “Famous Women Inventors: Mary Anderson – Inventor of Windshield Wipers”