Company labs. Governmental research centers. Universities. These places are where many of us think inventions happen. But how about garages, coffee shops, parks, or other community gathering spots?! Invention can happen in all kinds of places. This idea forms the foundation of the Lemelson Center’s exhibition in development, Places of Invention. It’s about communities “where people, resources, and spaces have come together to spark inventiveness.” Does that describe your environment? If so, consider contributing your story to the Places of Invention exhibition website.
The Lemelson Center team has assembled case studies of historic and contemporary invention hubs – Hartford, CT in the late 1800s; Hollywood, CA in the 1930s-40; Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN in the 1950s-60s; Silicon Valley, CA and the Bronx, NY in the 1970s-80s; and Fort Collins, CO today. Over the course of the next year, the exhibition team will work closely with six Affiliates to create community documentation projects of their places of invention to be featured in the exhibition. Affiliate partners in this project include: the Heinz History Center (Pittsburgh, PA); American Museum of Science and Energy (Oakridge, TN); Museum of History and Industry (Seattle, WA); Lakeview Museum (Peoria, IL); American Textile History Museum (Lowell, MA); and The Works: Ohio Center for History, Art and Technology (Newark, OH).