Mental Culture Club – Group News


Eighteen members were present to start the 2023-2024 season of the Pemberville Mental Culture Club on Sept. 12, at the home of Deb Krukemyer.

President Cindy Lohrbach called the meeting to order. Minutes of the April meeting were approved as read. A treasury blance of $95.24 was reported. Dues for the season were accepted.

Karina Hahn reminded members of the scholarship benefit auction to be held at the December meeting.

Cindy welcomed new member Kay Burrell.

Members answered the roll call by telling about any inventions they had made or about inventors they have known.

Tracey Briggs then presented a program about Hedy Lamarr. Born on Nov. 14, 1914, in Austria to Gertrude Lichtwitz and Emil Kiesler who were Jewish, but later converted to Catholicism, Lamarr is best known as an actress. However, she was also an inventor.

Gertrude had wanted a son and was never close to Hedy. Emil, however , recognized his daughter’s intelligence and often took her on long walks. He would explain to her the workings of mechanical devices that they saw.

Hedy was sent to boarding school. During this time she learned to love the theatre. By the age of 18 she was able to find small acting roles and in 1933 she had her first major role in the film “Ecstacy,” which would win awards in Europe even though it would be banned in the United States.

Soon after that time, Fritz Mandl, a producer and seller of munitions, saw her in the theatre and courted Hedy. They were married within the year in a Catholic ceremony. Mandl was one of the wealthiest men in Austria.

Munitions buyers would frequently meet at the Mandl home, with Hedy being the only woman present. Listening to their conversations she learned a good deal about munitions and the wars that were being planned. She managed to secretly escape the oppressive environmemt and made her way to London, then America where she became a famous actress.

At the beginning of WWII she and composer friend Georg Antheil developed a radio guidance system for torpedoes using spread spectrum and frequency hopping technology. The pocket watch sized device was deemed to large, but the design was later used during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Unfortunately Hedy’s patent had expired and she received no recognition.

Among Lamarr’s other inventions were airplane wing designs which improved speed, a ski lift, an improved traffic light, and a tablet for making a carbonated drink.

After the presentation, Deb served delicious charcuterie cones and spiced cider.

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