Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation homepage
Inventing Ourselves homepage
Design section
Performance section
Debates section
Multimedia section
Activities section
Resources section

The Lemelson Center would like to thank staff at the National Museum of American History who contributed to the exhibition and Web site.

Beth Richwine
Richard Strauss
Judy Chelnick
Eric Jentsch
Katherine Ott
Joan Mentzer
Exhibition Designer:
Russell Cashdollar
Exhibit Production:
Omar Wynn
Patrick Costa
Erin Eschenroeder
Ryan Karijolich
Barron Oda
Fabian Paniker
Drew Robarge
Tommy Strunk
For the Lemelson Center:
Joyce Bedi
Benjamin Bloom
Maggie Dennis

Header image: Drawing for one of Robert Jarvik’s early patents on ventricular assist devices, illustrating a pump inserted into each ventricle to maintain heart function. Patent # 5,851,174, granted December 22, 1998.

For any problems or questions about this Web site please email the Lemelson Center Webmaster.

About the Exhibit


The Inventing Ourselves exhibit was on display from February 6, 2004 to May 7, 2006 outside of the Lemelson Center on the first floor of the National Museum of American History. The exhibit was part of the Center’s Inventing Ourselves programming theme, which included programs for children, families, and adults featuring hands-on activities, museum collections, and appearances by inventors, curators, historians, and other specialists.

Inventing Ourselves explored technologies designed to augment, enhance, and repair the human body. This Web site includes an online presentation of the artifacts and themes found in the exhibit, information about some of the programs, exploration of additional museum collections, and online versions of several program activities.


Photograph of case 1   Photograph of case 2
Click to enlarge imageCase 1: Prosthetics   Click to enlarge imageCase 2: Performance
Photograph of case 3   Photograph of case 3 and video kiosk
Click to enlarge imageCase 3: New Acquisitions   Click to enlarge imageCase 3 and video kiosk



Smithsonian National Museum of American History homepage