Hedy Lamarr Golden Years - Handfinished print
This product is currently sold out.
Handfinished in Social Isolation 2020
13 x 16 inches
1 Colour Screen Prints with handfinishing
Hedy Lamarr’s most famed idea, and her only patented invention, is known as “frequency hopping,” a telecommunications technology that uses a code which jumps between different radio wave frequencies. This “hopping” allows for complicated transmission and communication of secure information between devices. Today, it’s the foundation for wireless technologies like Wifi, military communication, GPS, and drone technology. Essentially, it’s a technology that allows the modern world to function as we know it today.
Lamarr developed the idea in her own effort to help end WWII, after she heard that 80 children died when a German torpedo struck the SS City of Benares, a passenger ship crossing from Britain to Canada.
“That was the straw that broke the camel’s back,” Dean said of the event that fueled Lamarr’s invention. “[After that] she took it into her own hands and did something.”
“She understood that the problem with radio signals was that they could be jammed. But if you could make the signal hop around more or less randomly from radio frequency to radio frequency, then the person at the other end trying to jam the signal won't know where it is," Richard Rhodes, author of “Hedy's Folly: The Life and Breakthrough Inventions of Hedy Lamarr, The Most Beautiful Woman in the World,” and an interviewee in the film told NPR. "If they try to jam one particular frequency, it might hit that frequency on one of its hops, but it would only be there for a fraction of a second."
She persisted to create her idea, joining with composer and friend, George Antheil, to create such a secret communication system. In 1942, she received a patent from the US government for her invention.