The Huffington Post has a listing of “9 Innovative Museums Your Kids Will Love.” This summer, inspire your kids with a love for invention, innovation, and industry by including one of these in your vacation plans.
One of the museums, in Connecticut, is dedicated to one of the great inventors of American history. Eli Whitney’s life and story contain many lessons that need remembering today. Rightfully considered a father of “American Technology,” his achievements and name are fading from our consciousness. One wonders whether, on a Cash Cab “Red-Light Challenge,” he would be mentioned alongside Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, the Wright Brothers, and Steve Jobs (!).
Whitney had an innate aptitude – a genius — with anything mechanical. By employing his creative gifts to solve a problem in local agriculture, he transformed cotton into a major cash crop. He later advanced the value of interchangeable parts, especially in terms of military armaments.
Whitney had trouble with the Patent Office and failed to capitalize fully on the value of his invention. He was plagued with unauthorized copies of his cotton gin and mill machinery, which made fortunes for others. Despite these problems, in his business affairs, he recognized the value of surrounding oneself with capable people. An inventor needs protection for his or her ideas, but also needs a team to bring them into the real world.
Are you creative? An inventor? The world of intellectual property is complicated. Make competent, experienced patent attorneys an integral part of your team. They may save you millions.