It is a distinct pleasure to present these findings of our first Lemelson Institute, held at Incline Village, Nevada, August 16–18, 2007. Overlooking the northern shores of Lake Tahoe, the newly erected Lemelson Archives provided a magnificent setting for this inaugural event. Jerome Lemelson’s papers, which are being gathered at the archives, supplied the inspiration for our exploration of the theme, “Places of Invention.” For this period, the Archives itself became a place of invention in its own right and the institute participants, the inventors. It is my hope that this joint creation—the Lemelson Institute—will continue in future years on a periodic basis, forging a new tradition—not just as another think tank but as an agent to transform our understanding of inventors and the process of invention in the United States and around the world. I also hope that the report that follows conveys some of the intellectual challenges, excitement, and sheer fun involved in launching such a new and promising institutional endeavor.
Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Director
Circular image above: Lemelson Center director Art Molella viewing the moon over Lake Tahoe. © Smithsonian Institution