... 2012 (today), is celebrated, in Germany, Austria, and the German-speaking portion of Switzerland, Tag der Erfinder; that is, Inventors Day. The purposes of the holiday include encouraging pursuit of new ideas, even if others' consider them eccentric, and remembering the authors of inventions still in use. Why today? On this day 99 years ago, in Vienna, was born Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler, who'd become world-renowned as the Hollywood star Hedy Lamarr (right). Less known is that she too was an inventor, in 1942, of a means of transmitting radio signals dubbed the frequency-hopped spread spectrum. As described in the Inventors Day website:
'She is the prototype for the everyday life an inventor, not because she was an Edison, but simply because she was someone that tried to realise her idea.Who better to inspire others to innovation?
'She did not become rich or famous from her idea (as an actress she was already). Her invention however, the frequency hopping process is still in daily use and an integral process in our mobile phones.'
(Prior November 9 posts are here, here, here, here, and here.)