NEW YORK, May 16, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- It's one of the greatest untold stories of Women in Tech.
Few people know that a female inventor helped pave the way for the technology behind wireless phones, Bluetooth, GPS, and even Wi-Fi. Most wouldn't guess that she was also a Hollywood bombshell. During "MGM's Golden Age" in the 1940s, Hedy Lamarr was one of the most beautiful actresses in the world. She was also one of the smartest.
In June 1941 Lamarr submitted a patent to the U.S. Inventor's Council in Washington D.C. for a secret communications system called "Frequency Hopping." Decades later that patent would go on to help pave the way for the creation of wireless phones, Bluetooth, GPS, and even Wi-Fi. Frequency hopping is also used in the $43 billion dollar Milstar Satellite system used by the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Space Command.
Hedy Lamarr died in 2000 receiving no compensation and very little praise for her groundbreaking work. To honor Lamarr's achievement, Susan Sarandon and Reframed Pictures are producing a documentary on Lamarr's remarkable life and joining forces with Fund Dreamer, a crowdfunding platform dedicated to women and diversity, to crowdfund and pay for a gravesite memorial to Lamarr.
"This is the story of a Hollywood actress, defined by her appearance, who was secretly a brilliant inventor and helped change the course of history," said Sarandon. "Until recently, Hedy Lamarr has laid in an unmarked grave in the Vienna Central Cemetery."
To celebrate the 75th Anniversary of Hedy Lamarr's "Frequency Hopping" patent, Fund Dreamer and Reframed Pictures are crowdfunding $9,000 to pay for a gravesite memorial for the actress, which will be a physical reminder of Lamarr's contribution to technology for generations to come.
The gravesite memorial features 88 stainless steel rods to represent the 88 frequencies in Lamarr's "Frequency Hopping" patent. These stainless steel rods and balls generate an optical illusion of Lamarr's face when visitors stand in front of her grave. The memorial was commissioned by Lamarr's son, Anthony Loder, who is in failing health and now needs help in paying for the gravesite marker.
The campaign was created through Fund Dreamer, in collaboration with Katherine Drew, the producer of the Hedy Lamarr documentary. It can be viewed here. The campaign launched on May 10th and goes through June 10th, and offers different levels of donation-based rewards.
Various levels of rewards include meeting Susan Sarandon and her documentary film team at Reframed Pictures in New York City, and attending the premiere of the film in New York or Los Angeles.
"Many women in tech know Hedy Lamarr's story. Like Hedy, all of us are both beauty and brains. To honor Hedy's work, and our own, we are launching the #WeAreHedy challenge," said Yulia Laricheva, Co-founder of Fund Dreamer.
The campaign is being kicked off with a #WeAreHedy social media challenge. We're asking women to post a black and white selfie with a description of what they do in tech and use the hashtag #WeAreHedy and nominate your friends to do the same. Nominated participants have 75 hours to post their selfie or forfeit by way of a donation to the memorial.
Reframed Pictures is the film, television and digital production company in NYC created by actress Susan Sarandon and a team of award-winning producers and directors. Reframed Pictures is producing a new documentary on the life of actress Hedy Lamarr, which will be released in theaters in early 2017 and also premiere on television as part of the celebrated American Masters series on PBS. Susan Sarandon is the film's Executive Producer. Katherine Drew is producer. The documentary is directed by Alexandra Dean.
Fund Dreamer is a global crowdfunding platform based out of LA and NY whose mission is to help fund dreams focused on Social Good. Fund Dreamer is open to everyone, and promotes women and diversity-led projects. Fund Dreamer donates 10% of their net revenue towards women/diversity initiatives.
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SOURCE Fund Dreamer