When the National Museum of American History reopened
on 21 November 2008 after an extensive two-year renovation, the Lemelson Center also
debuted its new Lemelson Hall of Invention, a 3,500
square-foot exhibition gallery. The Lemelson
Hall is part of a top-to-bottom renovation of the
Museum’s central core. The bright,
open, and flexible gallery currently features the Center’s
award-winning Invention at Play exhibition.
To ensure that the Lemelson Hall of Invention is
always a dynamic destination at the Museum, the
Center plans to develop new exhibitions that continue
to share the rich history of invention and innovation
with the public.
First floor west.
Invention at Play
What do the inventors behind Post-it Notes®,
robotic ants, Kevlar®, and the telephone have
in common with children? Play! And it’s the
inaugural subject for the new Lemelson Hall of Invention,
the Center’s first dedicated public exhibition
space at the National Museum of American History,
as the Center proudly presents the award-winning
exhibition, Invention at Play.
its highly interactive and engaging activities created
especially for families, Invention at Play focuses on the similarities between the ways children
and adults play and the creative skills and processes
used by inventors. Visitors of all ages will experience
various playful habits of mind that underlie invention,
such as curiosity, imagination, visual thinking,
model building, and problem solving.
Visitors will also “meet” inventors
and innovators through compelling personal stories,
photos, and artifacts, and even have a chance to
try learning to windsurf on the Sailboard Simulator,
which is based on a design by sailboard inventor
First floor west.
Be sure to visit
the online version of the exhibition.