Dare County Library highlights history and accomplishments of women inventors

Published 8:30 am Sunday, January 9, 2022

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The Dare County Library has announced that a Smithsonian Institution poster exhibition highlighting the unique history of women inventors will be hosted at its Manteo and Kill Devil Hills locations throughout the months of January and February 2022.

The exhibition, which is titled, “Picturing Women Inventors,” showcases the many breakthroughs, motivations and challenges that American women have encountered while pursuing their goals and ambitions as inventors throughout the 20th and 21st centuries.

The exhibition will be on display at the Kill Devil Hills Library from January 3 through January 31 before making the move to the Manteo Library, where it will be on display from February 2 through February 28.

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“Presented by the Smithsonian Institution and the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the poster exhibition explores the inventions of 19 highly accomplished American women ranging from astronauts and athletes to engineers and computer pioneers,” stated a Dare County press release. “Throughout American history, women of all ages and with diverse backgrounds and interests have created inventions that change countless lives every day; however, women haven’t always had equal opportunities to be inventors or received as much recognition as their male counterparts.”

Among the 19 women inventors who are featured in the exhibition are Marilyn Hamilton, who after a hang-gliding accident in 1978 left her paralyzed went on to invent a lightweight and easy-to-maneuver wheelchair, as well as Alexis Lewis, who at only 12 years old in 2011 was inspired to adapt a traditional Native American sled known as a “travois” by adding wheels in order to create a simpler way for people to transport their children and belongings to camps and hospitals in Somalia.

The “Picturing Women Inventors” exhibition is presented at no cost to libraries, schools, museums and community organizations by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service in collaboration with the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation and the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The exhibition is sponsored by Lyda Hill Philanthropies’ IF/THEN initiative, as well as Ericsson, a provider of information and communication technology.

For more information about the exhibition’s upcoming visit to Dare County, visit www.DareNC.com/Library or contact the Kill Devil Hills Library at 252-441-4331 and the Manteo Library at 252-473-2372.