Inventions

Haribo products are available in more than 100 countries, with 160 million Goldbears leaving factory floors around the world every day.

The Colorful History of Haribo Goldbears, the World's First Gummy Bears

2022 marks the centenary of the German candy company's flagship product

AIM users could log on and instantly ping messages back and forth, remotely chatting with friends, colleagues and loved ones.

In the 25 Years Since Its Launch, AOL Instant Messenger Has Never Been 'Away'

While some aspects of AIM seem like relics of a different version of the internet, others remain deeply embedded in the social media landscape

Artle involves guessing who created a work of art using images from collections housed at the National Gallery of Art. 

This New Daily Game Is Like Wordle for Art

The National Gallery invented the guessing game to help users access its vast collections

None

Innovation for Good

Innovation for Good

A look at the researchers, inventors and community leaders who are bringing creativity and ingenuity to today's biggest challenges

Benjamin Choi was one of the top 40 finalists of this year's Regeneron Science Talent Search, the country's oldest and most prestigious science and math competition for high school seniors.

Innovation for Good

This High Schooler Invented a Low-Cost, Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm

Seventeen-year-old Benjamin Choi put his spare time during the pandemic to good use designing an accessible device that doesn't require brain surgery

Nick Bergh handles a damaged wax cylinder, which the Endpoint Machine will be able to read without risk of further damage.

Good News

A Library's Mysterious Trove of Wax Cylinders Will Soon Break Its Century-Long Silence

The recordings may include mundane conversations—and some of opera’s most legendary singers

In an effort to combat counterfeit whiskies, researchers in Australia created a device called NOS.E that can detect and identify differences by "sniffing" spirits.

Innovation for Good

A New Electronic Nose May Help Sniff Out Counterfeit Whiskey

Researchers at the University of Technology Sydney in Australia developed NOS.E, a device that can detect differences among whiskies by "smelling" them

It’s shocking how many everyday inventions we use without acknowledging the inventors that helped bring them to us.

Innovation for Good

Five Women Inventors You Didn't Learn About in History Class

These innovators pioneered word processing, launched Americans into space and more

Building a Corsi-Rosenthal box portable air filter comes down to duct-taping together a set of furnace filters and a box fan.

The Homemade Air Purifier That's Been Saving Lives During the Covid-19 Pandemic

Made from everyday items found in hardware stores, the Corsi-Rosenthal box is a testament to the power of grassroots innovation

Scholars say that Afrocentric notions of invention have often emphasized serving the needs of the community, social justice and artistic self-expression, such as the unpatented innovations of DJ Grandmaster Flash, who reimagined turntables and mixers as musical instruments and developed techniques like “scratching” that defined rap and hip- hop music.
.

Tearing Down the Barriers for Black Inventors Begins With Honoring Their Historic Breakthroughs

Smithsonian’s Eric S. Hintz, a historian of invention, details how scholars are envisioning a more inclusive ecosystem for the innovators of tomorrow

It’s been 70 years of instant photography, thanks to Edwin Land, on the left.

Polaroid Inventor Edwin Land Gave Us More Than Just Instant Photos

Seventy-five years after the game-changing camera was unveiled to the public, a scientist calls attention to Land's other technological breakthroughs

Inventor Jean-Yves Blondeau demonstrates his roller suit in 2007 in Beijing.

Seven Fitness Inventions That Were Dropped Like New Year's Resolutions

From roller armor to a weight helmet, these patented pieces of exercise equipment came and went

None

This Missouri Company Still Makes Cassette Tapes, and They Are Flying Off the Factory Floor

National Audio Company is the largest manufacturer in the world for this retro sound

Ben Franklin by Joseph-Siffred Duplessis, ca 1785

Ben Franklin Lives in Your Smartphone

The 18th-century inventor discovered concepts that impact modern technology

Snowboarder Shannon Dunn competes for Team USA in the 1998 Winter Olympics, where she won the bronze medal in half-pipe.

The Beijing Winter Olympics

A Brief History of Snowboarding

Rebellious youth. Olympic glory. How a goofy American pastime conquered winter

(Top) Leila Strickland, Michelle Egger, Toby Kiers, Colin Averill, J. Richard Gott (Middle) Leslie Jones-Dove, Devshi Mehrotra, Prisha Shroff, Iké Udé (Bottom) Tim Farrelly, Omar Salem, David Deneher, Victor A. Lopez-Carmen, Doris Sung

Innovation for Good

Sixteen Innovators to Watch in 2022

These trailblazers are dreaming up a future with cell-cultured breastmilk, energy-saving windows and more

A CT scan of the spiral intestine of a Pacific spiny dogfish shark (Squalus suckleyi). The organ begins on the left and ends on the right.

Innovation for Good

Ten Scientific Discoveries From 2021 That May Lead to New Inventions

From nanobots to cancer treatments, nature inspires a wide variety of innovations

Smithsonian's most-read stories of 2021 included an explainer on crocodile evolution, a profile of a teen inventor and a feature on Viking explorer Gudrid the Far Traveler.

Our Top Ten Stories of 2021

From archaeological finds to an invasive weed to Roman bathrooms, these were our most-read articles of the year

In 2017, the original Tamagotchi was relaunched on the 20th anniversary of its original U.S. release.

Keeping Tamagotchi Alive

The virtual pet that turned '90s kids into round-the-clock caretakers turned 25 this year

The original Japanese packaging emphasized English characters over Japanese ones.

How Cup Noodles Became the Instant Ramen for Americans

Released in Japan 50 years ago, the portable meal proved to be one of the biggest transpacific business success stories of all time

loading icon