Born Hedwig Eva Kiesler in Vienna, Austria, she was the daughter of Gertrud (Lichtwitz), from Budapest, and Emil Kiesler, a banker from Lviv. Her parents were both from Jewish families.Her inspiration for inventing a radio that broadcast on different frequencies came from watching a player piano paper go around with different holes in the paper. She gave the idea to the US War Department, which led to a radio guiding system for torpedoes that was used in World War II. She had supposedly gained the knowledge from her first husband, Fritz Mandl, an Austrian industrialist and arms dealer who philosophically and financially supported the Nazis. He was abusive and brutal to her, and she finally managed to escape him, and Austria, by drugging her maid.
Was co-inventor (with composer George Antheil) of the earliest known form of the telecommunications method known as “frequency hopping”, which used a piano roll to change between 88 frequencies and was intended to make radio-guided torpedoes harder for enemies to detect or to jam. The method received U.S. patent number 2,292,387 on August 11, 1942, under the name “Secret Communications System”