I will ignore all ideas for new works on engines of war, the invention of which has reached its limits and for whose improvements I see no further hope… Sextus Julius Frontinus


Hedy’s folly : the life and breakthrough inventions of Hedy Lamarr, the most beautiful woman in the world  Richard Rhodes  New York : Doubleday, c 2011  Hardcover. 1st ed., later printing. ix, 261 p., [8] p. of plates : ill. ; 22 cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

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Rhodes delivers a remarkable story of science history: how a ravishing film star and an avant-garde composer invented spread-spectrum radio, the technology that made wireless phones, GPS systems, and many other devices possible.

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Beginning at a Hollywood dinner table, Hedy’s Folly tells a wild story of innovation that culminates in U.S. patent number 2,292,387 for a “secret communication system.” Along the way Rhodes weaves together Hollywood’s golden era, the history of Vienna, 1920s Paris, weapons design, music, a tutorial on patent law and a brief treatise on transmission technology.

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Narrated with the rigor and charisma we’ve come to expect of Rhodes, it is a remarkable narrative adventure about spread-spectrum radio’s genesis and unlikely amateur inventors collaborating to change the world.

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