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See ya on the Net,
“Everything that can be invented has been invented.” proclaimed Charles Duell, Director of the U.S. Patent Office, arguing in 1899 for the closure of his department. It seems he was wrong. The U.S. Patent Office is still busy. And the Web is full of inventions, inventors and advice on inventing.
The Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation is part of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. Jumpstart your exploration by clicking on CenterPieces, a collection of interactive study units, such as The Quartz Watch, The Electric Guitar, and
Lemelson-MIT Invention Dimension
Invention Dimesion is another program funded by the Lemelson Foundation; this one administered by MIT’s Department of Engineering. Each week a different invention and inventor is profiled. Archives can be browsed alphabetically by inventor or by category of invention. In the eleven-chapter Inventor’s Handbook, aspiring inventors will find answers to many of their questions. “Is my idea patentable?” “How do I license my invention?” And last, but never least, visit the Games and Trivia section for fun quizzes that test your knowledge of inventors that have shaped our modern world.
Inventors and their inventions are nicely organized into categories such as Space, African-American Inventors, Colonial Inventors, Medical Inventions, Women Inventors and Fun & Games (covering the invention of golf, the Frisbee and the hula hoop.) When you’re ready for a challenge, take the Inventor’s IQ Test, which isn’t self-scoring, but does provide answers with links back into the site to learn more.
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