Upcoming Exhibits

Products of a Creative Mind: African American Invention & Innovation

Did you know that the son of two runaway slaves helped draft the patent for Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone design and worked with Thomas Edison, improving his lightbulb with the addition of a carbon filament? Chances are, most people are familiar with the names Bell and Edison, but far fewer are familiar with Lewis Latimer. African American innovators and inventors have influenced and contributed to the development of fields as diverse as agriculture, medicine, hair care, engineering, home security, and domestic life. In August 2015, the museum will open an exhibit that will explore the history of African American invention and innovation by highlighting key individuals and their contributions to various disciplines. Objects and interactive elements will expand visitors’ knowledge of African Americans’ contributions to the development of American innovation.

“The color of the skin is in no way connected with the strength of the mind or intellectual powers.”

Benjamin Banneker

Iowa State University alumnus George Washington Carver is well-known for his work developing dozens of new peanut byproducts.

George Washington Carver – Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, FSA/OWI Collection, LC-USW3- 000165-D