Hedy Lamar and Digital Spread Spectrum
One of my favorite factoids involves the 1940's actress/bombshell Hedy Lamar. Hedy was apparently she was more than a pretty face. In the 1940's, she and George Antheil envisioned using radio waves to transmit digital data rather in addition to analog data. They termed this the Secret Communications Technique, but it is now commonly known as Digital Spread Spectrum.
Unfortuntely, Hedy and George were way ahead of their time. It was not until the 1980's that commerical applications existed that could take advantage of it (such as cordless phones, cell phones, and cable modems).