Inventor attends Museum of Tolerance film discussion

Eddy Goldfarb reflects on a career in sonar

by Anne-Katrin Titze

Jennifer Callahan’s Making The Case and Lyn Goldfarb’s Eddy's World
Jennifer Callahan’s Making The Case and Lyn Goldfarb’s Eddy's World

The Museum of Tolerance (in Los Angeles) last night hosted virtual screenings of Jennifer Callahan’s Making The Case (a DOC NYC highlight) on Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s handbags (Alessandro Nivola and Emily Mortimer are thanked) and Lyn Goldfarb’s Eddy's World on the prolific inventor Eddy Goldfarb. Following the short films there was a live event discussion moderated by Museum of Tolerance Director Liebe Geft with Jennifer Callahan, Lyn Goldfarb and the director’s 98-year-old father Eddy Goldfarb.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg being filmed for Making The Case
Ruth Bader Ginsburg being filmed for Making The Case

Alexandra Dean’s revelatory documentary Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story shows us the brilliant mind of Hedy Lamarr, who, on the side, was developing innovative technology that ended up being used by the US military during the Second World War. In Eddy’s World, we learn that Eddy Goldfarb came up with the ideas for his first three inventions while stationed on the submarine the USS Batfish during World War II. The Wolf's Call director Antonin Baudry told me that Claude Lanzmann was “passionate about submarine films.”

I sent in the following question for Eddy Goldfarb.

Anne-Katrin Titze: Were you aware of Hedy Lamarr’s work on sonar for submarines during WWII?

Eddy Goldfarb: That was my specialty, sonar. Radar and sonar was what I took care of and I had a crew that worked on it. Sonar is what we used, of course, when we submerged. We could listen. We couldn’t see anything but we could hear. And that helped us very very much. And radar, of course, when we’re on the surface. We can find enemy ships, but most importantly, we can find perhaps a periscope of an enemy submarine and of course pick up planes that were coming looking for us. Those were the two things that was my specialty.

Museum of Tolerance Director Liebe Geft: Did you make any toys on the theme of the navy or the military or any of these technologies that were so important at the time and still are?

Eddy Goldfarb: You mean did I make any toys about the military after the war? No, I made a cowboy gun that was hidden in your [cowboy] hat. When you took your hat off. I made a buckle gun, that was on your belt buckle which when you expanded your waist it opened up and shot you. But no, no real military these were cowboy stuff.

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