Monthly Archives: February 2014

Wireless Patent Inventor from 1942‏

Do you remember movie King Kong ???



First, get beyond the first picture.

 Second, read the story – –

It all  started with a skin flick …

In 1933, a  beautiful, young Austrian woman took

off her  clothes for a movie director. She ran

through the woods, naked. She swam in a lake,

naked, pushing well beyond the social norms

of the  period.


The most popular  movie in 1933 was

King Kong. But everyone in  Hollywood

was talking about that scandalous movie

with the gorgeous, young Austrian  woman.

Louis B. Mayer, of the giant studio  MGM,

said she was the most beautiful woman in

the world. The film was banned practically

everywhere, which of course made it even

more popular and valuable. Mussolini

reportedly refused to sell his copy at any  price.

The star of the film, called  Ecstasy, was

Hedwig Kiesler. She said the secret of her  

beauty was “to stand there and look stupid.”

In reality, Kiesler was anything but stupid.

She  was a genius. She’d grown up as the

only child of a prominent Jewish banker.

She was a math prodigy. She excelled at

science. As she grew  older, she became

ruthless, using all the power her body and

mind gave her.

Between the sexual roles she played, her

tremendous beauty, and the power of her

intellect, Kiesler would confound the men in

her life, including her six husbands, two of

the most ruthless dictators of the 20th century,

and one of the greatest movie producers

in history.

Her beauty made her rich for a time.

She is said to have made – and  spent –

$30 million in her life. 

But her greatest accomplishment resulted

from her intellect, and her invention

continues to shape the world we live in today.

You see, this young Austrian starlet would

take one of the most valuable technologies

ever developed right from under Hitler’s nose.

After fleeing to America , she not only became

a major Hollywood star, her name sits on

one of the most important patents ever

granted by the U.S. Patent  Office.

Today, when you use your cell  phone or,

over the next few years, as you  experience

super-fast wireless Internet access

(via something called “long-term evolution”

or “LTE” technology), you’ll be using an extension

of the technology a 20- year-old actress first

conceived while sitting at dinner with Hitler.

At the time she made Ecstasy, Kiesler was

married to one of the richest men in  Austria,

Friedrich Mandl was Austria’s leading arms

maker. His firm would become a key supplier  

to the Nazis.

Mandl used his beautiful young wife as a

showpiece at important business dinners

with representatives of the Austrian, Italian,

and German fascist forces. One of Mandl’s

favorite topics at these gatherings, which

included meals with Hitler and Mussolini,

was the technology surrounding

radio-controlled  missiles and torpedoes.

Wireless weapons offered far greater ranges

than the wire-controlled alternatives that

prevailed at the time.

Kiesler sat through these dinners  

“looking stupid,” while absorbing everything

she heard.

As a Jew, Kiesler hated the Nazis.  

She abhorred her husband’s business ambitions.

Mandl responded to his willful wife by

imprisoning her in his castle,

Schloss  Schwarzenau. In 1937, she managed

to escape. She drugged her maid, Snuck out

of the castle wearing the maid’s clothes, and

sold her jewelry  to finance a trip to  London ..


(She got out just in time, for in 1938,

Germany annexed Austria.  The Nazis

seized Mandl’s factory (He was half Jewish).

Mandl fled to Brazil. Later, he became an

adviser to Argentina’s iconic populist

president, Juan Peron.)

In London, Kiesler arranged a meeting

with Louis B. Mayer.  She signed a long-term

contract with him,  becoming one of MGM’s

biggest stars. She  appeared in more than

20 films. She was a  co-star to Clark Gable,

Judy Garland, and even  Bob Hope.

Each of her first seven MGM movies was

a blockbuster.

But Kiesler cared far more about fighting

the Nazis than about making  movies.

At the height of her fame, 1942, she  developed

a new kind of communications system,

optimized for sending coded messages

that couldn’t be “jammed.” She was building

a system that would allow torpedoes and

guided bombs to  always reach their targets.

She was building a system to kill Nazis.

By the 1940s, both  the Nazis and the

Allied forces were using the kind of

single-frequency radio-controlled  technology

Kiesler’s ex-husband had been peddling.

The drawback of this technology was that

the enemy could find the appropriate

frequency and “jam” or intercept the signal,

thereby interfering with the missile’s intended


Kiesler’s key innovation was to

“change the channel.” It was a way of encoding

a message across a broad area of the

wireless spectrum. If one part of the

spectrum was jammed, the message would

still get through on one of the other

frequencies being used. The  problem was,

she could not figure out how to synchronize

the frequency changes on both the receiver

and the transmitter. To solve the problem,

she turned to perhaps the world’s first  

techno-musician, George Anthiel.

Anthiel was an acquaintance of Kiesler who

achieved some notoriety for creating

intricate musical compositions. He

synchronized his melodies  across twelve

player pianos, producing stereophonic

sounds no one had ever heard before.

Kiesler incorporated Anthiel’s technology

for synchronizing his player pianos.  

Then, she was able to synchronize the

frequency changes between a weapon’s

receiver and its transmitter.

On August 11, 1942, U.S.   

Patent No. 2,292,387 was granted to Antheil

and  “Hedy Kiesler Markey”, which was

Kiesler’s married name at the time.

Most of you won’t recognize the name Kiesler.

And no one would remember the name

Hedy Markey. But it’s a fair bet than anyone

reading this newsletter of  a certain age

will remember one of the great  beauties

of Hollywood’s golden age ~Hedy  Lamarr !

That’s the name Louis  B. Mayer gave to

his prize actress. That’s the  name his

movie company made  famous.


Meanwhile, almost no one knows

Hedwig Kiesler – aka Hedy  Lamarr –

was one of the great pioneers  of wireless

communications. Her technology was  

developed by the U.S. Navy, which has

used it ever since.

You’re probably using Lamarr’s  technology,

too. Her patent sits at the  foundation of

“spread spectrum technology,”  which you

use every day when you log on to a wi-fi

network or make calls with your

Bluetooth-enabled phone. It lies at the heart

of the massive investments being made

right now in  so-called fourth-generation

“LTE” wireless technology. This next

generation of cell phones and cell towers

will provide tremendous  increases to

wireless network speed and quality,  by

spreading wireless signals across the

entire available spectrum. This kind of

encoding is only possible using the kind

of frequency switching that Hedwig Kiesler



And now you know, “the rest of the story”

and here is a web site if you would like to learn more ….