Inventive Minds is a changing exhibition gallery that introduces Museum visitors to the Lemelson Center’s mission to foster an appreciation for the central role of invention and innovation in the history of the United States. In our ongoing work to document American inventors and increase our understanding of the inventive process, the Lemelson Center works with the Museum's archivists and curators to collect, preserve, and share the historical records of inventors and innovators from all segments of American society.
Through first-person videos, artifacts, and archival materials, visitors to Inventive Minds learn about the traits that successful inventors share—insatiable curiosity, keen problem-solving skills, tenacity, and flexibility in the face of failure—and explore the creative spirit of American invention.
From July 2015 through August 2016, the gallery featured the stories of diverse historic and contemporary inventors. Click on the links to the right to learn more about Inventive Minds: Everyone Is Inventive.
- Ralph Baer: home video games
- Patricia Bath: laser eye surgery
- Andy Butler: electronic carpenter's level
- Matt Capozzi and Nathan Connolly: accessible snowboard
- Marion O'Brien Donovan: reusable, waterproof diaper cover
- Ashok Gadgil: water purification
- Jerome Lemelson: inventions ranging from medical and industrial technologies to toys
- Van Phillips: prostheses