7 Celebs Who Invented Terrific Things

Neil Young, Hedy Lamarr among stars behind fine inventions
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 2, 2012 4:00 PM CDT
Hedy Lamarr, co-inventor of the Secret Communication System.   (Wikimedia Commons)

(Newser) – Who says celebrities aren't the brightest bulbs in the box? Here are a few who came up with memorable inventions, as reported by Cracked:

  • Neil Young: The legendary singer/songwriter invented a new remote control system for model trains called the Trainmaster Command Control. He first designed it so his son, Ben, could more easily run a model train despite having cerebral palsy.

  • Zeppo Marx: The youngest of the original Marx Brothers, Zeppo invented a heart attack alarm he called the "cardiac pulse rate monitor." Comparing your heart rate to the actual time, it would sound an alarm if your heart beat too fast.
  • Hedy Lamarr: The Hollywood sex symbol liked staying up nights in her own laboratory. Among her many inventions was one cooked up with pianist George Antheil: the Secret Communication System, which encrypted radio signals on perforated paper rolls. This precursor to Wi-Fi technology was used by the US military during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
See more celeb inventions—including the water bed and lie detector—right here. (Or read about celebs who are surprisingly charitable.)

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