Over the summer, the Smithsonian National Museum of American History celebrated the opening of the new Lemelson Hall of Invention and Innovation. The Hall explores the role of invention in the United States, through hands-on activities, informative exhibits, and collaboration. In just a few months since its opening, the Hall is abuzz with the excitement of young and old would-be inventors.
The new Hall is the first permanent public home of the Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention, and its opening showcases a 20-year partnership between The Lemelson Foundation and the Smithsonian. The alliance was forged in 1995 when Jerry and Dorothy Lemelson approached the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, about an exhibition space that would increase the public’s understanding of invention and its power to effect change in our lives and communities.
From those early conversations, the Lemelson Center was born. Over the course of the next two decades, it would become the nation’s leading resource for the study of the history of invention and innovation.