Who was Hedy Lamarr? She was the world’s “most beautiful woman,” a movie star of the 1940s, who also portrayed Cleopatra in a movie of that name. Lamarr was also a brilliant scientist. In 1941, she patented and offered to the Navy a formula she hoped could intervene torpedo attacks. Her invention was ignored.
It was, however, resurrected decades later during the Cuban missile crisis, at a time when she would receive little recognition or revenue. You hold in your hand Lamarr’s invention. You might even be lost without this mighty communication tool. What is it? Her inventive formula is the basis for the cell phone and Bluetooth you use daily.
After her death, Hedy Lamarr was entered into the Science Hall of Fame. Interested in joining a science club way back in the 1940s, she was advised to sell war bonds instead, a job she did quite successfully. Women’s primary value, beauty, was not to be ignored.
It would be decades after Hedy Lamarr’s invention before women would be more prominent in the male domain of elected and business leaders.
Here are the names of women who achieved “firsts” in Annapolis: Anne Catherine Green, Barbara Neustadt, Cynthia Carter, Ellen Moyer, Janet Owens, Pat Edwards, Anne St. Clair Wright, Joan Baldwin, Arlene Berlin, Sue Rosenfeld, Virginia Clagett, Becky Clatanoff, Lisa Hillman, Anna Greenberg?
Do you know what glass ceilings they broke?
–Ellen Moyer, first female mayor of Annapolis (2001-2009)
Editor’s Note: When you figure out what each of the above-named women did, send us your answers to print in an upcoming edition. Email [email protected].