National Inventors Hall of Fame Exhibits

Preview highlights from our rotating collection of special exhibits, now on display.

Gallery of Icons

The museum’s key attraction is the inspiring Gallery of Icons™. Here, you’ll find icons commemorating each of the more than 500 National Inventors Hall of Fame® (NIHF) Inductees we’ve welcomed since our founding in 1973. Hung in a tessellating hexagon pattern inspired by honeycombs and organized by patent number, this is a stunning visual representation of the history of American innovation.

Familiar names include the prolific Thomas Edison, who filed more than 1,000 patents, including the electric light bulb; the high-flying Wright Brothers, who successfully piloted the first powered aircraft; the brilliant Stephanie Kwolek, who invented the life-saving Kevlar fiber worn by police officers and military personnel across the world; and George Washington Carver, who famously developed crop-rotation methods for conserving nutrients in soil and discovered hundreds of new uses for crops such as the peanut and sweet potato.

A Nation Built on Innovation

America was, and still is, built on innovation — from the creation of household products to the growth of new technologies. Immerse yourself in the history of wartime innovations from the Civil War through the Cold War, explore presidential patents and test your knowledge on our interactive kiosk.

2019 Inductees

Each year, in partnership with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, we recognize another class of Inductees and bring their incredible contributions to life in a new exhibit.

Our 2019 class includes visionaries such as Edmund O. Schweitzer III, inventor of the Digital Protective Relay; Chieko Asakawa, inventor of the Home Page Reader; and Andrew Higgins, inventor of the Landing Craft, Vehicle, Personnel (LCVP), or Higgins Boat.

Travel back to the 1970s in a featured exhibit, where you can try out the Whistle System, invented by Inductee William J. Warner.

Intellectual Property Power

Sponsored by Ford Motor Co., INTA and Qualcomm and in partnership with the George Eastman Museum, Intellectual Property Power® focuses on revolutionary Intellectual Property that has made a significant impact in our daily lives.

  • Experience 50 years of automotive design and technology when you climb inside a car that merges Ford Mustang models from 1965 and 2015.
    Sneak Peek
  • Discover the value of trademarks and learn how trademarks have affected some major industry brands in an exhibition sponsored by the International Trademark Association (INTA).
  • See how Qualcomm founder Dr. Irwin M. Jacobs contributed to a more connected world as you take a close look at smartphone technology. 
    Sneak Peek
  • Explore photographic advancements as you interact with the inventions of NIHF Inductees George Eastman, Steve Sasson and Eric R. Fossum. 
    Sneak Peek

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Ford Mustang
Qualcomm Exhibit
Camera Exhibit
INTA Exhibit

1st & Ten Line Stadium

Get in the game with the 1st & Ten Line Stadium exhibit, inspired by several game-changing NIHF Inductees. Visitors can step onto the turf to experience the sounds and visuals of a real football game. This hands-on exhibit puts you on the big screen, as you control the placement of the Virtual Yellow 1st & Ten® line, invented by Inductee Stan Honey.

Interactive Kiosks


Put your patent and trademark knowledge to the test! Challenge your family and friends to try matching some of the most iconic images and sounds to their respective brands. Or, match inventions to their inventors. Finally, find your inventor superpower by answering questions that align you with one of our superhero NIHF Inductees.

Preview the museum

Travel to the NIHF Museum virtually through Google Arts & Culture!

The following sponsors help make our museum exhibits possible: