Cryptologic Bytes

"On This Date in History" Calendar

1942: Hedy Markey (Lamarr) Receives Patent

Sunday, August 11, 2024

11 August 1942: Hedy Markey - better known as actress Hedy Lamarr, received a patent for a secret communication system. Ms. Markey is also featured on our page honoring Female Pioneers in Cryptology & Related Fields - see link below.

(2018 Update) - Make sure to check out the documentary, "Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story." Learn more about it via the link below.
(2020 Update) - The 2020 Senior Level Winners of the NCF-sponsored Eugene Becker Award for Excellence in Cybersecurity & Cryptology (MD History Contest special award) - created a documentary titled "Beyond the Beauty - How Hedy Lamarr Engineered Society." The winning team included Astri Doub, Jaimie Griffin, and Elizabeth O'Brien from the Bryn Mawr School. Their teacher was Matthew Hetrick. See below for a direct link to view their documentary and a separate link to learn more about the NCF special awards for the annual MD History Day Contest.

From Wikipedia: Lamarr was co-inventor, with composer George Antheil, of an early technique for spread spectrum communications and frequency hopping, which paved the way for today's wireless communications and which, upon its invention in 1941, was deemed so vital to national defense that government officials would not allow publication of its details. At the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Sixth Pioneer Awards in 1997, she and George Antheil were honoured with special awards for their "trail-blazing development of a technology that has become a key component of wireless data systems."


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