The Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention & Innovation
Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, Smithsonian Beanie Illustration
MIND: Documenting Invention

Inventing | Documenting | Things to Collect | Resources


Regardless of the field of invention, all inventors need to surround themselves with the necessary tools for their work. These may include a wide range of hand tools, machines, scientific equipment, cooking utensils, artist’s implements, sewing supplies, etc.

These tools are important to collect and/or document, as they are evidence of an inventor’s education, skill, knowledge, preferred work methods, and manufacturing processes. Machines that are too large to be collected should be photographed. There may be existing photo documentation of tools, machines, and work processes in the inventor’s records.

See examples from the collections »

Last Update: 28 Dec 2010

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