Exhibit display featuring early tractor

American Enterprise

On View 1 West Mars Hall of American Business

American Enterprise chronicles the tumultuous interaction of capitalism and democracy that resulted in the continual remaking of American business—and American life. Visitors are immersed in the dramatic arc of labor, power, wealth, success, and failure in American business and innovation from the mid-1700s to the present. Through captivating objects and engaging interactive displays, visitors can trace the country’s development from a small, dependent agricultural nation to one of the world’s most vibrant economies.

New Perspectives Changing Exhibit

American Enterprise will continue to grow as the museum collects new objects and stories. The exhibition's “New Perspectives” case, located in the Global Era section, will highlight new acquisitions and interpret old collections in novel ways.

Currently on display: “The Only One in the Room.” This display explores the stories of eight women who made a mark in business and entrepreneurship—including banking, beauty, advertising, and manufacturing—and examines the obstacles they faced and the context of the times in which they lived. The display tells each woman’s story with an image and one artifact representing her achievements, with expanded information available on the exhibition website.

Exhibition Website

The exhibition's companion website (coming soon) gives visitors the opportunity to experience all of the objects and stories featured in American Enterprise—and more. Visitors can dig deeper into the history of business in the United States through blog posts, public programs, and other digital initiatives that explore the exhibition's core themes of opportunity, innovation, competition, and shared concern for the common good.

Leadership support for the exhibition is provided by Mars, Incorporated; the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation; and SC Johnson, in addition to many other generous donors.