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Halls of Fame

My kids are on spring break this week, but I’m not. So we’re in Pittsburgh, looking for a quick day trip on a day (today) when I’m not teaching. My son is interested in technology, and we’ve long wondered about the National Inventors’ Hall of Fame in Akron, so we drove over and gave it a shot.

What a disappointment! Is this the best the patent community can do? For younger kids, the museum has a cool bunch of hands-on exhibits. For grown-ups, though, there are only three walls of photos of patentees. No history of science and technology; no history of industrial organization; no history of the patent system. There’s only a passing reference to Thomas Jefferson, and not a word — not a word! — about Ben Franklin.

Next time, our family is sticking with copyright and trademark: We’re going back to the Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall of Fame. The Debby Gibson and Bay City Rollers costumes are over the top, but the listening booths and the movies are fabulous.