There’s a fascinating article in the NYT about the 1940’s era, Austrian born film star Hedy Lamarr. Not only was she widely considered one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood, she’s one of the patent holders of the idea of ‘frequency hopping’ communications. This breakthrough idea is now widely used in everything from cell phones to military satellites to jam-resistant radar.
Neither Lamarr nor her co-inventor, composer George Antheil, ever received a penny for the idea. Their patent expired before it became technologically possible to implemet it.