The Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention & Innovation
Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, Smithsonian Beanie Illustration
Lemelson Institute

Places of Invention:
The First Lemelson Institute

Organized by the Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation

Lemelson Archives, Incline Village, Nevada

16-18 August 2007

» From the director
» Executive summary
» Mission & goals
» Setting the stage
The legacy of Jerome Lemelson
Getting the inventive juices flowing
The role of an inventor's style on places of invention
The power of place
» Framing the task
» Overview of research on places of invention
» Examining places of invention
Creative people: the people/place nexus
Creative places: the people/place nexus
Creating places of invention: regions and new spaces
Creating places of invention: adapting existing spaces
» Making ideas concrete: public dissemination
» Findings
» Participants
» Agenda
» Acknowledgments
» About the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation
» About the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
»Appendix 1: "Places of Invention" syllabus (PDF)
»Appendix 2: "Astronomical Places of Invention" (PDF)


Organizing an intellectually stimulating yet socially enjoyable event like the Lemelson Institute requires the dedication and hard work of many people. We would like to thank Claudine Klose, Leslie Casaya, and Maggie Dennis of the Lemelson Center for their untiring efforts with planning and logistics for the meeting. The expert assistance of Caryn Swobe and Susan McLelland ensured that the Institute’s preparations and proceedings went smoothly in Incline Village. Joyce Bedi was responsible for the preparation of this report, while Benjamin Bloom handled the audiovisual requirements for the meeting and, with Art Molella, served as the Institute’s photographer. Colleagues Robert Kargon and Julia Novy-Hildesley helped us shape the content of the Institute and offered many suggestions for participants. Joseph Tatarewicz lent his expertise in astronomy to a guided tour of the night sky over Lake Tahoe that none of the participants will soon forget. Finally, we want to especially thank Dorothy Lemelson for her hospitality, generosity, and contributions to the discussions. Her passion for places of invention and her personal grace set the tone of the Institute. ^^


  About the Lemelson Center

The Lemelson Center was established at the National Museum of American History in 1995 through a gift from the Lemelson Foundation. Jerome Lemelson (1923–1997) was an independent inventor who earned more than 600 patents, representing one of the largest patent portfolios in the nation’s history.

The Center’s mission is to document, interpret, and disseminate information about invention and innovation, to encourage inventive creativity in young people, and to foster an appreciation for the central role invention and innovation play in the history of the United States. ^^


  About the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution

The National Museum of American History collects, preserves and displays American heritage in the areas of social, political, cultural, scientific and military history. Documenting the American experience from colonial times to the present, the Museum looks at growth and change in the United States. ^^


Back to the top ^^


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Dorothy Lemelson

Dorothy Lemelson graciously sponsored and hosted the first Lemelson Institute. Photo by Ben Bloom.


Julia Novy-Hildesley

Julia Novy-Hildesley of the Lemelson Foundation helped shape the Institute. Photo by Ben Bloom.


Joe Tatarewicz led a star-gazing session

Photo of the moon taken through a telescope

Joseph Tatarewicz (upper right) led a star-gazing session during which Art Molella captured this image of the moon through the telescope. Photos by Art Molella.


Last Update: 31 Mar 2008

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