Picturing Women Inventors

May 21, 2021 – TBD

National Museum of American History
1300 Constitution Ave., NW
Washington, DC

Lower Level Corridor Floor Plan

Featuring stories of contemporary and historic women, this display of photos and graphics is dominated by lively, larger-than-life images of female inventors. For many, the word “inventor” recalls images of men like Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell, but inventors come from every demographic and segment of society. Challenging pre-conceived notions about gender and innovation, Picturing Women Inventors looks at women inventors, visionaries, and scientists at work. The stories of inventive women have been overlooked, undervalued, and sometimes lost, not least because they have lacked the support and backing necessary to secure patents and develop inventions into marketable products or services. The display is meant to inspire with stories about what women inventors have accomplished and how their breakthroughs are part of people’s daily lives.

With text in English and Spanish, the exhibition illustrates the creativity of women inventors while inspiring young people (especially girls) to see themselves as future inventors.

Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler, better known as the movie actress Hedy Lamarr, co-invented a Secret Communication System with composer George Antheil during World War II. Courtesy of the US Patent and Trademark Office.