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American Enterprise

American Enterprise

July 1, 2015 – Permanent

Museum: American History Museum

Location: 1st Floor, West Wing

This exhibition explores a key area of the American experience—the history of business and innovation from the mid-1700s to the present. It traces the development of the United States from a small dependent agricultural nation to one of the world's largest economies through the following 4 chronological eras: the Merchant Era (1770s – 1850s), the Corporate Era (1860s – 1930s), the Consumer Era (1940s – 1970s), and the Global Era (1980s – 2010s). Highlights include:

  • John Deere’s plow
  • Eli Whitney’s cotton gin
  • Barbara McClintock’s microscope
  • Stanley Cohen’s recombinant DNA research notebook
  • Alexander Graham Bell’s first telephones
  • Alfred Bloomingdale’s personal credit cards
  • a New York Stock Exchange booth from 1929
  • an early Monopoly board game
  • one of Michael Dell’s early computers

Online exhibition