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Historical marker to honor Jewish actress and inventor Hedy Lamarr

In 1942, she and George Antheil received U.S. Patent No. 2,292,387, having designed a “Secret Communication System” for torpedo guidance for use during World War II.

Hedy Lamarr publicity photo for the 1944 film “The Heavenly Body.” Credit: Wikimedia Commons.
Hedy Lamarr publicity photo for the 1944 film “The Heavenly Body.” Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

A historical marker will be dedicated on Sunday, March 12, in Central Florida to recognize and honor Jewish American actress Hedy Lamarr.

Lamarr is considered by many Hollywood historians as one of the most beautiful and best actresses of the Golden Age of Hollywood. She made multiple films opposite some of the greatest Hollywood male talents—Clark Gable, Walter Pidgeon and Spencer Tracy, to name a few.

She was a Jewish refugee from Austria who escaped the Holocaust after having known Benito Mussolini and Joseph Goebbels before the war in Austrian high society circles.

Most underreported about Hedy Lamarr was her scientific genius and driven hatred of the Nazis and their party.

In 1942, she and George Antheil received U.S. Patent No. 2,292,387, having designed a “Secret Communication System” for torpedo guidance.

The system, “a frequency jumping” of radio waves, helped defeat Nazi Germany during World War II. The technology was later incorporated into modern cell phones, helping make communications possible. Antheil and Lamarr were posthumously inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame (2014). She never made a penny from the invention.

The marker is a joint effort of the Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation (JASHP) and the Casselberry Historical Society.

The marker will be dedicated at Red Bug Lake Park, 3600 Red Bug Lake Park Road in Casselberry, Fla. (adjacent to the playground) on March 12 at 4 p.m. by Seminole County Commissioner Bruce Dallal, Jerry Klinger of JASHP and Dr. Deborah Bauer of the Casselberry Historical Society.

In attendance will be the Casselberry Historical Society, Seminole County Historical Society, rabbinic community leaders and members of the community. The dedication is open to the public.

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The Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation is a non-profit, volunteer organization. The purpose of the society is to identify and recognize sites of American Jewish historical interest. The society sponsors and promotes programs of local and national historic interest. Cooperating with local historical societies, communities, churches and synagogues, the society encourages dialogue and interactive recognition of the commonality of the American experience.
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