The Living History Of Invention

The history behind the technology we often take for granted has become a draw for tourists. See the minds and mechanisms behind the modern world.
Historic Sites

Lowell Heritage State Park
Lowell, Mass.

Formerly a center of commerce in New England, the Lowell Heritage State Park has preserved several of the city's 19th century structures including a cotton mill complex. The extensive canal system has been restored and demonstrations of the water-powered weaving looms are offered along with exhibits of the science and technology of the time.

Windham Textile and History Museum
Willimantic, Conn.

Located in eastern Connecticut, the Windham Textile and History Museum is housed in the former warehouse and company store of a 19th century textile factory. The facility serves as both a learning tool for local universities and a destination for travelers. Tours of the museum offer visitors a glimpse of the life inside a working textile mill.

Floyd County Museum
Charles City, Iowa

Located in America's heartland, the Floyd County Museum explores the marriage between agriculture and industry. The tourist attraction contains more than 50,000 artifacts including examples of the first gas-powered tractor models, the museum claims.


Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village
Dearborn, Mich.

Located in his hometown, the museum was actually founded by Henry Ford himself. Nine acres of floor space hold thousands of artifacts including several Model Ts, Ford's first mass-produced automobile.

Greenfield Village lies just outside the museum and includes dozens of exhibits, including re-created homes representing colonial life and the actual one-room home in which Ford was born.

Thomas Edison Birthplace Museum
Milan, Ohio

Declared a national historic site, the museum houses early work and documents from one of the most prolific inventors in modern history. The site gives directions and general information about the museum as well as a list of Edison's most famous inventions and discoveries.

Ford and Edison
Fort Myers, Fla.

Henry Ford and Thomas Edison were more than just contemporaries; they were also friends and, for several years, neighbors. The comfortable climate of Florida attracted the two industrialists to build winter homes adjacent to one another. Today, visitors can tour both estates and see Edison's laboratory garden where he collected exotic plants from around the world.

George Washington Carver National Monument
Diamond, Miss.

A world-renowned innovator in agricultural research, George Washington Carver developed new farming practices and taught them to Southern farmers. His boyhood home has been declared a National Monument and houses a museum with photographs, oral histories, artifacts, original documents and educational programs.

Modern Science

The Smithsonian
Washington, D.C.

Our nation's capital is home to one of the world's premiere science museum. The Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum maintains the largest collection of historic air and spacecraft in the world. Among the collection are the original Wright brothers' 1903 Flyer, the Spirit of St. Louis, the Apollo 11 command module, and a moon rock sample that visitors can touch.

Museum of Science and Industry
Chicago, Ill.

With an emphasis on interactive exhibits, the Museum of Science and Industry strives to make technology interesting. Visitors are welcome to walk through the cramped spaces of U-505, a captured German submarine from World War II now permanently docked next to the museum, or get their hands dirty with oily byproducts in the new permanent exhibit, Petroleum Planet.


For more information about technology and the men and women who made it possible, visit the Inventors Online Museum. This entirely virtual resource has quick facts about inventions in the field of medicine, space travel, earth sciences, and transportation as well as biographies on the world's greatest inventors.

Compiled by Mike Wuebben