The Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention & Innovation
Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, Smithsonian Beanie Illustration
Centerpieces   Places of Invention
An exhibition under development

Places of Invention tells the stories of historic and modern communities where people, resources, and spaces have come together to spark inventiveness.


Since the Lemelson Center opened in 1995, we have addressed “places of invention” through a variety of activities for adult and/or scholarly audiences. Use these resources to investigate your place of invention.

  • Lemelson Center podcasts
    • Ashok Gadgil's thirst to save lives (part 1) (15:43)
    • Ashok Gadgil's invention can save thousands of lives by purifying water quickly and cheaply.
      Play it » 15.1 MB file
    • Ashok Gadgil inspires future inventors (part 2) (19:33)
    • Ashok Gadgil talks about his work to improve health in the developing world.
      Play it » 8.2 MB file
    • Gwen Ottinger studies technology's role in environmental justice (18:37)
    • Hi-tech and low-tech give power to the people.
      Play it » 11.5 MB file
    • Historian David Rhees tours the "Medical Alley" hot spot (24:00)
    • How did Minnesota spawn a world-class cluster of medical device companies?
      Play it » 20.4 MB file | Read Transcript
    • Inventor and entrepreneur Bryan Willson tackles global-energy problems (21:57)
    • For innovations at Colorado State University's Engines & Energy Conversion Laboratory (EECL), location matters.
      Play it » 18.4 MB file | Read Transcript
    • John Andrade and Jennifer Orgolini support environmental stewardship (23:03)
    • John Andrade and Jennifer Orgolini discuss innovative approaches to beer-making... and place-making.
      Play it » 22.1 MB file
    • John Fernandez builds globally competitive communities (18:54)
    • The U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development takes us inside Regional Innovation Clusters.
      Play it » 22.7 MB file | Read Transcript
    • Lalith Seneviratne helps communities harness sustainable power (19:36)
    • In a showcase example of social entrepreneurship, innovator Lalith Seneviratne devised a means to bring sustainable electricity to rural Sri Lanka.
      Play it » 8.2 MB file
    • Norman Winarsky taps into Silicon Valley's culture of innovation (23:45)
    • At SRI International, Winarsky builds on the ground-breaking work of Douglas Engelbart, using computers to augment human ability.
      Play it » 20 MB file | Read Transcript
    • Ryan Lintelman traces the roots of America's motion picture industry (21:27)
    • In the 1880s, Thomas Edison and fellow inventors in West Orange, New Jersey, caused the American film industry to boom.
      Play it » 21.2 MB file | Read Transcript
    • Sharon Rogone invents for preemies (part 1) (20:24)
    • Sharon Rogone, a neonatal nurse-turned-inventor, talks about her first invention and why she started to invent.
      Play it » 8.8 MB file | Read Transcript
    • Sharon Rogone invents for preemies (part 2) (19:17)
    • Sharon Rogone, a neonatal nurse-turned-inventor, talks about her inventions and how they help preemies.
      Play it » 8.1 MB file | Read Transcript
    • Steven Gdula speaks about an invention "hot spot"--your kitchen! (20:44)
    • Invention in the warmest room in the house--the kitchen!
      Play it » 8.9 MB file
  • Articles and websites on places of invention
    • Coming soon . . .

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