Today, the Washington Senators are most remembered for their ability to finish in last place. Despite their successful early history marked...
José Feliciano will remain forever celebrated for his perennial Christmas classic "Feliz Navidad," one of his many hit recordings that have...
Advertising agencies have relied on images to engage consumers since the late 19th century. Images convey both information and emotion in a...

Blog Posts in "Invention & Innovation"

Del Mar Avionics Dynamic Electrocardiography Systems, 1976
Bruce Del Mar pointing to the Del Mar Avionics Holter monitoring system on displayIf your life spanned nearly an entire century of American...
On October 24, Stanley, winner of a historic robot race, left its home at the National Museum of American History aboard a flatbed truck...
People watch a Civil War balloon go up above a treeline
Editor's note: Civil War technology is the topic of this weekend's symposium, and some of the sessions may surprise you, particularly...
Located on the bottom shelf of a storage cabinet in the sports collection is a small open wooden box lined in green felt, with holes and...
Lithograph of city on fire, boats in harbor
All of the objects in the collections of the National Museum of American History are interesting and important in their own way, but few...
Technicolor camera
"Within a short time she was walking briskly toward the Emerald City, her silver shoes tinkling merrily on the hard, yellow roadbed. The...
When it comes to inventive uses of color, there is hardly a more inspiring example than the contributions of the late husband-and-wife...
Editor's Note: Re-posted from Bright Ideas, the blog of the Smithsonian's Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation...
Early in May, as spring rain deluged the car, I quickly lowered the window to snap one photo of a modest garage on 19th Avenue Northeast...
The National Museum of American History and photographer Robert Weingarten are working in collaboration to build a historic portrait with...
On the opening weekend of The Art of Video Games at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, my boyfriend and I lounged in the museum’s...
I felt like a kid again. On the morning of April 17, I stood amid a crowd of fellow staffers on the rooftop terrace of the National Museum...
Gray camera with strap
Kodachrome film. Courtesy of George Eastman HouseThough not unexpected, the news still came as a shock: on January 19, 2012, the 132-year-...
Recently, the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation partnered with ePals, an online network for K-12 students, parents...
As an intern in the Photographic History Collection at the National Museum of American History in the summer of 2010, I set out to survey...
Editor’s note: This blog is the second of a two-part series exploring the process of bringing early sound recordings to life for the first...
As far as anybody knows, Steve Jobs did not have a drop of Italian blood, even by osmosis from his adoptive parents. Yet he clearly had a...
Editor’s note: This blog is the first part of a two-part series exploring the process of bringing early sound recordings to life for the...
“At slow speeds it runs on battery power,” transportation curator emeritus William Withuhn explained during my first ride in his 2003...
Editor's note: Listen to Matthew Hersch discuss the history behind the development of the space suit. From early high altitude suits, to...
You probably know someone with a heart condition, someone who had a heart attack or even heart surgery. I know I do. According to the...
On November 18-19, Moving Beyond Earth: Innovations in Space, the Lemelson Center’s symposium, held this year in collaboration with...
Yesterday, Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple, passed away at age 56 after a seven year battle with pancreatic cancer. This collection of...
“Two hundred years of American technology has unwittingly created a massive cement playground of unlimited potential, but it was the minds...
This wood laminate skateboard displays Tony Hawk’s Birdhouse logo graphic designed by Vernon Cortlandt Johnson and was used by Tony Hawk in competitions during the mid-1980s.
Innovation and inventiveness have been central to skateboarding since the earliest days of the sport. As Tony Hawk told ESPN...
Photograph of miners posing around dynamo, around 1884
As a collection manager at the National Museum of American History, I often have access to things no one else gets to see, including the...
I love talking with inventors about their creative lives and careers. Better yet, I love speaking with them at their workplaces. There is...
By the mid-20th century, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), an advocacy group representing the interests of manufacturers...
Colorful prosthetic foot with green swirls and a gecko image
Editor's Note: This post is part of a series to accompany Inventive Voices podcasts from the Lemelson Center for the Study of...
We are now at the end of science fair season (the final national prizes were handed out on March 15) and this year’s competitions took...
Squishy gunk in tubes. This space food package in the collections of the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum contains pureed beef...
Editor’s Note: This post is part of a series commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.Occasionally the routine of museum work...
Gold frame containing black and white photo of man in hat showing off some type of instrument in box
If “matter can neither be created nor destroyed,” as the ancient Greek philosophers postulated, can the same principle be applied to...
The Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center is dedicated to the study of invention and innovation in the history of the United States....
In my last blog post, I took you on a brief tour of the Eco-City scene in China, in the northern area around Beijing. I wish, though...
Last year on this blog, I wrote about the development of Dongtan, China’s planned eco-city near Shanghai. Once billed as the world’s...
On a recent trip to Wisconsin, I had the opportunity to spend a morning and afternoon in the City of Milwaukee. Now, I’m a regular visitor...
You may have seen Lemelson Center docents in action in the lab; now learn how they came to be Smithsonian volunteers. Allow...
Editor's Note: This post was originally published on the Smithsonian Collections Blog as part of a 31-day Blogathon in October for...
“Physics is phun!” my high-school physics teacher loved to write, and certainly these Nobel Prize winners would agree. Dr. Andre Geim...
Editor’s note: This post, written by Ryan Holladay, member of the D.C. music collective Bluebrain, is second in a series about...
At lunch a few days ago, I was sitting next to a retired engineer from the U.S. Department of Energy. When I told him about our work at the...
Every time I consider quitting Facebook, a surprising connection keeps me hanging on. That’s how “Music for The World of Tomorrow” became...
The Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation wants you to know more about our staff! You may have seen them in action in...
Why does Silicon Valley continue to flourish and reinvent itself, despite periodic pronouncements of imminent decline or technological...
You know the nugget of writing wisdom, “Show, don’t tell” ? It can apply to museums, too: live your mission, don’t just talk about it. At...
It's an odd thing to eat an omelet while holding back tears. But that's how I felt prior to the Creativity Round Table, held at...
Black base with Pac-Man logo. On top, large yellow Pac-Man.
A few weeks ago, I discovered, like millions of others, that Google had changed their online logo again to commemorate another special...

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