Web links: For history buffs :: Smithsonian Lemelson Center
Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, Smithsonian Beanie Illustration
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Websites on invention and innovation

A host of websites across the Internet complement the work of the Lemelson Center. Here are a few that will help you investigate the topic on your own.
Above: A robotic dog fetches a ball during a "Robot Day" demonstration. Smithsonian photo by Hugh Talman.
For Kids & TeachersFor History BuffsFor Inventors

Smithsonian Institution

Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
Guides visitors through the Smithsonian’s complex of museums dedicated to “the increase and diffusion of knowledge.”

National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
Features collections and scholarship that inspire a broader understanding of the U.S. and its many peoples through public programs, collections, and exhibits.

National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution
Highlights the largest collection of historic air and spacecraft in the world and research into the history, science, and technology of aviation and space flight.

Joseph Henry Papers, Smithsonian Institution
Documents the life of scientist Joseph Henry, first Secretary of the Smithsonian and a pioneer in the study of electricity and magnetism.

U.S. Museums

American Computer Museum, Bozeman, Montana
Exhibits computing technology from cave art to the present.

Bakken Library and Museum, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Collects archival materials related to the history of electricity and magnetism in medicine and the life sciences and promotes the public understanding of science and its role in history.

Computer History Museum, Mountain View, California
Celebrates computing history by preserving and presenting the artifacts and stories of the information age.

Early Office Virtual Museum
Engages in research on the history and evolution of offices, antique office machines and equipment, and business technology, based on original documents and artifacts.

Exploratorium, San Francisco, California
Provides access to, and information about, science, nature, art, human perception, and technology through interactive exhibits.

Franklin Institute Science Museum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Inspires an understanding of and passion for science and technology learning.

The Henry Ford
Brings the American experience to life through exhibits, demonstrations, programs, and reenactments.

MIT Museum, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Explores the foundations and frontiers of science and technology through exhibits and programs. Part of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Museum of Science, Boston, Massachusetts
Stimulates interest in and further understanding of science and technology and their importance for individuals and society through activities, exhibits, and programs.

Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, Illinois
Provides public science education through hands-on, interactive exhibits.

Non-U.S.  museums


Powerhouse Museum, Sydney
Develops collections and presents exhibitions and programs that explore science, design, and history for the people of New South Wales and beyond.


Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers, Paris
Provides professional training, conducts technological research, and spreads scientific and technical knowledge through the Musée des Arts et Métiers, and through seminars and exhibits across France.

Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie at Parc de la Villette, Paris
Offers exhibits and shows on science and technology for kids and adults.


Deutsches Museum, Munich
Furthers public understanding of the history of science and technology through exhibits, programs, and publications.

Deutsches Museum, Bonn
Explores science, technology, and invention in Germany after 1945. A branch of the Deutsches Museum in Munich.

Great Britain

Science Museum, London
Offers exhibits and programs on the history and current practice of science and technology.


Museo Galileo, Florence
Combines a noted museum of scientific instruments and an institute dedicated to the research, documentation, and dissemination of the history of science.

History of invention centers and programs

Center for History of Physics, American Institute of Physics, College Park, Maryland
Preserves and makes known the history of modern physics and allied fields.

Charles Babbage Institute for the History of Information Processing, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
Promotes study of the history of information technology and information processing and their impact on society.

IEEE History Center, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, New Brunswick, NJ
Preserves, researches, and promotes the legacy of electrical engineering and computing.

Society for the History of Technology
Encourages the study of the development of technology and its relations with society and culture.

Topical guides

Calculators Collectors’ Site
Celebrates the evolution from mechanical to hand held electronic calculators.

Exploring and Collecting History Online (ECHO)
Serves as a guide to websites on the history of science and technology.

Hewlett-Packard Calculators Virtual Museum
Describes Hewlett-Packard calculators dating from roughly 1968 to 1986, with sections on calculating machines and slide rules, a timeline, and collecting information. Not affiliated with the Hewlett-Packard Company.

LED Watches Collectors’ Site
Presents articles, photographs, vintage ads, and links for collectors of LED (light emitting diode) watches and their technology.


Last Update: 12 Jan 2012

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