Hedy Lamarr, actress and inventorHedy Lamarr was a famous Austrian actress and beauty icon, but she also contributed an important invention: the basic technology for spread spectrum and frequency hopping, which led to wireless communications. The technology manipulated radio frequencies to form an unbreakable code to prevent enemy interceptions. She worked on the invention with composer George Antheil in 1941, and was awarded a patent, but the idea was not implemented in the U.S. until 1962. Reportedly, she wanted to join the National Inventors Council, but was not allowed. She was eventually honored for her contributions in 1997.