Subject of the Month

A monthly display featuring resources on specific thematic subjects.

August 2015


Inventors and Inventions August 2015 Subject of the Month


Selectors: Marilyn Weiss and Emily Brush

"I believe that dreams - day dreams, you know, with your eyes wide open and your brain-machinery whizzing - are likely to lead to the betterment of the world. The imaginative child will become the imaginative man or woman most apt to create, to invent, and therefore to foster civilization.”

- L. Frank Baum, The Lost Princess of Oz

19th Century

Dmitri Ivanovich Mendeleev formulated the Periodic Law, created his own version of the periodic table of elements, and used it to correct the properties of some already discovered elements and also to predict the properties of eight elements yet to be discovered. This is Mendeleev's 1871 periodic table.

Ferris Wheel at Michigan State Fair. 1949.

WSU Virtual Motor City Collection.

20th Century

In 1888, Nikola Tesla invented the first practicable AC motor and polyphase

power transmission system, which revolutionizes industry and commerce.


Although better known for her Silver Screen exploits, Austrian actress Hedy Lamarr (born Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler) also became a pioneer in the field of wireless communications following her emigration to the United States.

21st Century

Berndnaut Smilde - Making Clouds from The Avant/Garde Diaries on Vimeo.

The Dutch artist Berndnaut Smilde brings a luminous weather phenomenon indoors, but only for a moment. And that’s precisely the point.

Expresso Book Machine at the University of Michigan Library.

Picture of the Display

Detroit Inventors & Inventions

Faygo Beverage Company. Detroit. 1969.

WSU Virtual Motor City Collection.

Inspector William Potts presenting first signal light ever in use to James Bishop. 1938.

WSU Virtual Motor City Collection.

Ford Motor Company Flywheel Magneto Assembly Line

Ford Motor Company Flywheel Magneto Assembly Line. 1913.

Changing Face of the Auto Industry.

National Inventors Hall of Fame

National Inventors Hall of Fame. Alexandria, VA.

Children's Books