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NIHF Partners with Google to Take Museum Digital

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – March 6, 2019 – The National Inventors Hall of Fame® (NIHF) Museum and Google Arts & Culture have partnered to bring the NIHF Museum experience to all corners of the world digitally.

“Once Upon a Try” — the largest online exhibition about inventions and discoveries ever curated — will launch today as a project from the Google Arts & Culture platform.

The goal of this project is to present meaningful digital storytelling that encompasses both the history and future of innovation to expand the reach and create a new audience for these museums’ collections.

While NIHF encourages in-person visits to the museum located outside of Washington, D.C., this virtual experience will allow visitors to delve into the innovations that shaped America anytime, anywhere online.

Stories from NIHF Inductees such as Frances Ligler, inventor of Portable Optical Biosensors, and Marshall Jones, inventor of Industrial Lasers, are highlighted in the NIHF Museum’s collection, showcasing their careers as successful inventors — with hopes of inspiring the next generation of innovators.

“We are excited to be a part of this platform. Invention and intellectual property are at the center of progress and quality of life in our nation, and this partnership with Google will allow a new audience to access our museum on a global scale,” said NIHF CEO Michael J. Oister.

“Once Upon a Try” contains more than 400 interactive exhibits that pay tribute to humanity’s greatest leaps in science and technology progress, and the visionaries that shaped our world, as well as tales of epic fails and happy accidents.

“We invite everyone to participate in the first phase of an online collection that celebrates innovation and science. Through inspiring, and at times surprising, stories from over 100 partners, you can explore the inventions and discoveries that have shaped our world. ‘Once Upon a Try’ is all about that first attempt, the idea, the journey of fulfilling a dream, and we hope it’ll give people that extra boost to find their very own eureka moment,” said Amit Sood, director of Google Arts & Culture.

Eight other exhibits from the NIHF Museum are featured on the platform, including Intellectual Property Power®, where visitors can examine the impact intellectual property has on our everyday lives through a split-model Ford Mustang, photographic advancements, smartphone technology and counterfeit products.

The free Google Arts & Culture app is available for download worldwide on iOS and Android devices, as well as being accessible online, boasting 50 million annual users.


Google Arts & Culture puts the collections of more than 1,800 museums at your fingertips. It’s an immersive way to explore art, history and the wonders of the world, from Van Gogh’s bedroom paintings to the women’s rights movement and the Taj Mahal. The Google Arts & Culture app is free and available online for iOS and Android. Our team has been an innovation partner for cultural institutions since 2011. We develop technologies that help preserve and share culture and allow curators to create engaging exhibitions online and offline, inside museums. Read about our latest projects on the Google Keyword blog.



The National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHF) is the premier nonprofit organization in America dedicated to recognizing inventors and invention, promoting creativity, and advancing the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship. Founded in 1973 in partnership with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, NIHF is committed to not only honoring the individuals whose inventions have made the world a better place, but to ensuring American ingenuity continues to thrive in the hands of coming generations through its national, hands-on educational programming and collegiate competitions focused on the exploration of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The National Inventors Hall of Fame Museum is a Smithsonian Affiliate. For more information, visit To nominate an inventor for Induction, visit

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