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MBHB Celebrates Women’s History Month: Inventor Hedy Lamarr

March 1, 2021

McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP is proud to celebrate Women’s History Month in March in recognition of it as an annual celebration of achievements by women in spotlighting their critical role in U.S. history. In this regard, we are highlighting noteworthy women inventors whose creations changed the world.

Hedy Lamarr, one of the biggest stars during Hollywood’s Golden Age, was a gifted mathematician and engineer whose inventions provided the foundation for GPS, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi technology. At the onset of World War II, Lamarr wanted to make a contribution to the war effort by improving torpedo technology. She developed the idea of “frequency hopping,” which could encrypt torpedo control signals, thus preventing enemies from jamming them and sending the torpedoes off course. It was eventually adopted and utilized by the US Navy. Subsequently, Lamarr’s spread-spectrum technology has become the foundation for the portable devices that we use every day, for which she was inducted into the National Inventor’s Hall of Fame in 2014.