Black and white picture of actress Hedy Lamarr

Happy birthday Hedy Lamarr!

Today, November 9 would be Hollywood actress Hedy Lamarr’s 103rd birthday. Hedy undoubtedly had screen presence, but she was also an amazing inventor whose work was crucial during WW2 and helped lead to the invention of WiFi.

Hedy’s ‘Secret Communication System’ was invented during WW2, and it was originally designed to help ships fire torpedoes, which are underwater missiles. Torpedoes are impressive but difficult weapons to control, and they would often go off course and land in the wrong place, causing lots of damage. Hedy realised that there was an urgent need for a system that could reliably control these torpedoes.

Hedy was the star of an interactive game during 2017’s Manchester Science Festival, and Produced Moon’s Melanie Phillips also blogged for us about this amazing woman.

Melanie said: “Hedy is fascinating because she lived a double life as a Hollywood star and an inventor. The ‘Secret Communication System’ wasn’t Hedy’s only invention – in fact she invented throughout her life, creating improved tissue boxes and a tablet that you could dissolve into water to make it taste like coca-cola. Hedy’s inventions all seem to solve a problem – she looked at the world and tried to improve it.”

Why not celebrate Hedy’s birthday by reading her blog – click here to see the post.