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Austria to Hollywood It all started with a skin flick ..

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Post by retired2 Sat Sep 13, 2014 10:02 pm

From Austria to Hollywood

It all started with a skin flick ..

In 1933, a beautiful, young Austrian woman took off her clothes

for a movie director. She ran naked through the woods . She

swam naked in a lake . Pushing well beyond the social norms

of the period.

The most popular movie in 1933 was King Kong,but everyone

in Hollywood was talking about that scandalous movie with the

gorgeous, young Austrian woman.

Louis B. Mayer, of the giant studio MGM, said she was the most

beautiful woman in the world. The film was banned practically

everywhere, which of course made it even more popular and

valuable. Mussolini reportedly refused to sell his copy at any


The star of the film, called Ecstasy, was Hedwig Kiesler . She said

the secret of her beauty was "to stand there and look stupid." In

reality, Kiesler was anything but stupid. She was a genius. She'd

grown up as the only child of a prominent Jewish banker. She was

a math prodigy. She excelled at science. As she grew older, she

became ruthless, using all the power her body and mind gave her.

Between the sexual roles she played, her tremendous beauty, and

the power of her intellect, Kiesler would confound the men in her life,

including her six husbands, two of the most ruthless dictators of the

20th century, and one of the greatest movie producers in history.

Her beauty made her rich for a time. She is said to have made -

and spent - $30 million in her life.

But her greatest accomplishment resulted from her intellect and

her invention continues to shape the world we live in today.

You see, this young Austrian starlet would take one of the most

valuable technologies ever developed right from under Hitler's

nose. After fleeing to America , she not only became a major

Hollywood star, her name sits on one of the most important

patents ever granted by the U.S. Patent Office.

Today, when you use your cell phone or over the next few years,

as you experience super-fast wireless Internet access (via

something called "long-term evolution" or "LTE" technology),

you'll be using an extension of the technology a 20- year-old actress

first conceived while sitting at dinner with Hitler.

At the time she made Ecstasy, Kiesler was married to one of the

richest men in Austria . Friedrich Mandl was Austria 's leading

arms maker. His firm would become a key supplier to the Nazis.

Mandl used his beautiful young wife as a showpiece at important

business dinners with representatives of the Austrian, Italian, and

German fascist forces. One of Mandl's favorite topics at these

gatherings,which included meals with Hitler and Mussolini,was the

technology surrounding radio-controlled missiles and torpedoes.

Wireless weapons offered far greater ranges than the wire-controlled

alternatives that prevailed at the time.

Kiesler sat through these dinners "looking stupid," while absorbing

everything she heard.

As a Jew, Kiesler hated the Nazis. She abhorred her husband's

business ambitions. Mandl responded to his willful wife by

imprisoning her in his castle, Schloss Schwarzenau. In 1937, she

managed to escape. She drugged her maid, Sneaked out of the

castle wearing the maid's clothes and sold her jewelry to finance a

trip to London .

She got out just in time, for in 1938, Germany annexed Austria .

The Nazis seized Mandl's factory (He was half Jewish). Mandl

fled to Brazil . Later, he became an adviser to Argentina 's iconic

populist president, Juan Peron.

In London , Kiesler arranged a meeting with Louis B. Mayer.

She signed a long-term contract with him, becoming one of

MGM's biggest stars. She appeared in more than 20 films. She

was a co-star to Clark Gable, Judy Garland, and even Bob Hope.

Each of her first seven MGM movies was a blockbuster.

But Kiesler cared far more about fighting the Nazis than about

making movies. At the height of her fame, 1942, she developed

a new kind of communications system, optimized for sending

coded messages that couldn't be "jammed." She was building

a system that would allow torpedoes and guided bombs to

always reach their targets. She was building a system to kill


By the 1940s, both the Nazis and the Allied forces were using

the kind of single-frequency radio-controlled technology

Kiesler's ex-husband had been peddling.

The drawback of this technology was that the enemy could find

the appropriate frequency and "jam" or intercept the signal,

thereby interfering with the missile's intended path.

Kiesler's key innovation was to "change the channel." It was a

way of encoding a message across a broad area of the wireless

spectrum. If one part of the spectrum was jammed, the message

would still get through on one of the other frequencies being


The problem was, she could not figure out how to synchronize

the frequency changes on both the receiver and the transmitter.

To solve the problem, she turned to perhaps the world's first

techno-musician, George Anthiel.

Anthiel was an acquaintance of Kiesler who achieved some

notoriety for creating intricate musical compositions. He

synchronized his melodies across twelve player pianos,

producing stereophonic sounds no one had ever heard before.

Kiesler incorporated Anthiel's technology for synchronizing his

player pianos. Then, she was able to synchronize the frequency

changes between a weapon's receiver and its transmitter.

On August 11, 1942, U.S. Patent No. 2,292,387 was granted to

Antheil and "Hedy Kiesler Markey", which was Kiesler's married

name at the time.

Most of you won't recognize the name Kiesler. And no one would

remember the name Hedy Markey. But it's a fair bet than anyone

reading this newsletter of a certain age will remember one of the

great beauties of Hollywood's golden age ~Hedy Lamarr !

That's the name Louis B. Mayer gave to his prize actress. That's

the name his movie company made famous.

Meanwhile, almost no one knows Hedwig Kiesler - aka Hedy

Lamarr - was one of the great pioneers of wireless

communications. Her technology was developed by the U.S.

Navy, which has used it ever since.

You're probably using Lamarr's technology, too. Her patent

sits at the foundation of "spread spectrum technology," which

you use every day when you log on to a wi- fi network or make

calls with your Bluetooth-enabled phone.

It lies at the heart of the massive investments being made right

now in so-called fourth-generation "LTE" wireless technology.

This next generation of cell phones and cell towers will provide

tremendous increases to wireless network speed and quality, by

spreading wireless signals across the entire available spectrum.

This kind of encoding is only possible using the kind of frequency

switching that Hedwig Kiesler invented.

And now you know, "the rest of the story" !
Bonfire Tilter

Posts : 5980
Join date : 2012-02-24

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Austria to Hollywood  It all started with a skin flick .. Empty Re: Austria to Hollywood It all started with a skin flick ..

Post by gale force Sun Sep 14, 2014 6:27 am

Interesting facts. Thanks!
gale force
gale force

Posts : 901
Join date : 2012-02-27
Age : 75
Location : Florida/Simcoe

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