DWP: August 11

On August 11 1942, actress and inventor Hedy Lamarr and her collaborator, composer George Antheil, received their patent for a Frequency-hopping spread spectrum communication system that has since provided the basis for modern technologies in wireless telephones and Wi-Fi. Hedy had fled both her country and her marriage in 1937, escaping from Vienna to Paris, and then on to America. She later said of her husband “He was the absolute monarch in his marriage. … I was like a doll. I was like a thing, some object of art which had to be guarded—and imprisoned—having no mind, no life of its own”. I think that moment of receiving a patent (and with it recognition of her own agency and brilliant mind) must have felt like real freedom.

So today’s prompt is to write about a moment when you escaped, felt release, or finally realised you had broken free – but framed through an object or seemingly-unrelated event. Or, write about the things you need or wish you could invent – a fantasy list of what you’d like to give the world, or yourself, or a specific someone else. This could be a list of many things, or one specific thing. Don’t let boring old reality get in the way of what your inventions could be or do..

My response: I wrote about a fantasy invention for when I really need some peace.

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