Drawing for one of Robert Jarvik’s early patents
on ventricular assist devices, illustrating a pump inserted
into each ventricle to maintain heart function. Patent
# 5,851,174, granted December 22, 1998.
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About the Exhibit
The Inventing Ourselves exhibit was on
display from February 6, 2004 to May 7, 2006 outside
of the Lemelson Center on the first floor of the National
Museum of American History. The exhibit was part of
the Center’s Inventing Ourselves programming theme,
which included programs for children, families, and
adults featuring hands-on activities, museum collections,
and appearances by inventors, curators, historians,
and other specialists.
Inventing Ourselves explored technologies designed
to augment, enhance, and repair the human body. This
Web site includes an online presentation of the artifacts
and themes found in the exhibit, information about some
of the programs, exploration of additional museum collections,
and online versions of several program activities.