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"

Technicolor camera with large lens, camera casing, and four wheels
Every day can be an adventure for the curators, specialists, interns, and volunteers who spend their days digging and researching in the...
One of the best ironic gifts I ever received is a paper bag vase. It’s a ceramic vase in the classic, flat-bottomed shape and classic brown...
One of the fun parts of being a curator is deciding exactly what to collect. Sometimes it’s easy—the original helium-neon laser that was...
Margarita machine
Why is this homely little brown box, with its sign that identifies it as the "World's First Margarita Machine," living at the Smithsonian?...
Silicon Valley—we know it’s there, but its borders elude us. The region is synonymous with innovation, collaboration, and the cutting edge...
So many of the sustainable environmental technologies of today hold promise but are distinctly futuristic—from nanotechnology-based...
You never know what to expect when you head into the Lemelson Center’s Spark!Lab. Visitors might be learning about electricity...
Science? Not really my thing. It’s not that I don’t appreciate science, I just don’t happen to be blessed with the aptitude for it. This is...
The cover of The Daily Graphic of New York, 9 July 1879, pronounced Edison a “wizard.” SI negative #80-18655 New Jersey, or at least that...
Illustration of Nirenberg’s chart of the 64 3-letter combinations that form the genetic code. An image of his handwritten chart may be seen...
Pink brochure with butterflies on the cover, pack of pills, and document
Only a few weeks into my internship I’ve already learned that the fastest way to create awkward silence, where even the cricket chokes, is...
James Cameron’s Avatar was the box office smash to beat over the holiday season. The director of the Alien and Terminator franchises...
Many people have seen black and white photographs of the San Francisco earthquake of 1906. But the earthquake photographs shown below are...
My ears perked up at the announcement of this year’s Nobel Prize in physics. Not only was it awarded to an invention that revolutionized...
As Hispanic Heritage Month comes to a close on October 15, I am reminded of a recent conversation I had with my old friend Dr. José (Joe) V...
I grew up in Colorado. Just about every time I mention that fact to someone, I get asked, “Do you ski?” And for years I would launch into...
August was National Inventors’ Month and the Lemelson Center celebrated with a number of high-profile events to highlight that...
I did not get my flu shot last fall. The threat of, or at least the media attention about, “avian flu” had abated, and I missed the...
While Saturday mornings typically find me sleeping in or going for a run, the morning of August 1st was different. I arrived at the museum...
Les Paul truly was an American legend. He was an extraordinary musician, inventor, and innovator who greatly influenced popular culture....
Coming into work one Monday morning in November 1996, I strolled by a small exhibit case and noticed that something wasn’t quite right. The...
The oral history program with renowned author and global environmentalist Lester Brown last month was an eloquent reminder that the stories...
I’m very excited about the publication of Julie Fenster’s intriguing new book, The Spirit of Invention: The Story of the Thinkers,...
Something in the news today caught me off guard. What I read was breaking news from the Associated Press (June 10, 2009): “Fiat Closes Deal...
Going green is the thing to do these days. The buzzwords include ”sustainability,” “eco-friendly,” and “carbon footprint.” For many, it may...
In accepting his appointment as Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu became the first Nobel science laureate to serve in a cabinet position. His...
One of my favorite things in the museum’s Science in American Life exhibition is the “Ecology Now” poster commemorating the...
I can’t wait to see what Barack Obama does to fulfill his campaign pledge to spur innovation and improve American competitiveness in...
One of my favorite authors is the late Douglas Adams, whose Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series expounded the “interconnectedness of...
You know that moment when an idea suddenly strikes and—BOOM—there’s a new invention ready to change the world? No? Well, the museum’s...

Pages