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Beer In Ads #1031: That’s Hedy Lamarr

Friday’s ad is for Schaefer, from 1948. If you’re a fan of “Blazing Saddles,” you’ll recall that Harvey Korman’s character was “Hedley Lamarr,” and in the film everybody kept calling him “Hedy” enough that he was always correcting them in an exasperating way. After a conversation with Governor William J. Le Petomane (played by director/writer Mel Brooks), Hedley corrects him. “It’s not Hedy, it’s Hedley. Hedley Lamarr.” Brooks replies. “What the hell are you worried about? This is 1874. You’ll be able to sue “her.” Hedy Lamarr was an Austrian-born actress who came to Hollywood in 1936. A few years later she patented a “Secret Communication System,” for a process known as “frequency hopping,” but which today is more often known as “spread spectrum” and is used now to make mobile phones and the internet work, specifically “Bluetooth, COFDM (used in Wi-Fi network connections), and CDMA (used in some cordless and wireless telephones).” But in the 1940s, she also did ads for Schaefer beer.

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