Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Akron, Ohio: National Inventors Hall of Fame

It's a little tough to get your hands around the concept of the National Inventors Hall of Fame. It's not like dads excitedly tell their children, "Today we're going to find out about the guys who invented coaxial cable." However, it's good to see these men and women honored in some way for their work, and that's the case in this interesting building in downtown Akron.

The top floors overlook an atrium, and they have pictures and descriptions of the honorees. At the ground floor is a workshop that mostly has children in mind, although there are some exhibits for adults too. As you'd expect, it's nice and noisy during school field trips.

A couple of warnings: it could have much more material on the subjects of inventing; this is a surprisingly underrepresented area. And it's not up to date either. In 2007, information on the 2006 inductees was not in place. That inexcusable and frustrating, particularly if you have a distant relative who was inducted. We'll have to see if improvements are on the way to this worthwhile idea.

(P.S. Improvements were not on the way. The exhibit closed a few years after this was written, and the Hall of Fame was moved to Alexandria, Virginia. Wonder if my distance relative is represented now.)

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