5 Awesomely Entrepreneurial Artifacts That Will Soon Live at the Smithsonian
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After inspiring books, television shows and movies aplenty, the field of entrepreneurship is poised to set up shop in one of the nation’s most illustrious museums.
An exhibition entitled ‘American Enterprise,’ debuting at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History next year, will seek to examine American history through an entrepreneurial prism.
Ahead of its opening, the Smithsonian shared an exclusive preview with Entrepreneur.com of five of the most fascinating artifacts planned for display.
1. General Electric D-12 Type 3 Electric Toaster, 1909
The D-12 was the first-ever electric toaster to be released commercially by GE in the early 1900s. Atop a ceramic base with floral embellishments, bread was placed along metal baskets surrounding a heated alloy of nickel and chromium called nichrome.
2. Mr. Peanut, 1916
When a young schoolboy named Antonio Gentile entered his sketch as part of a logo contest held by Planters in 1916, the company’s now-iconic mascot was born. A commercial artist later added its top hat, monocle and cane.
3. Fordson Tractor, 1924
Having grown up on a farm, Henry Ford began building experimental tractors in 1907. In 1920, his tractor venture, Fordson, merged with the Ford Motor Company, which continued using the Fordson name until 1964.
4. Marshall Field's Cash Register, 1914
A single storefront in the 1880s spawned the long-lived and much-beloved retail chain, which was eventually acquired by the Target Corporation in 1990 and subsequently folded into Macy’s in 2005.
5. Google Corkboard Server, 1999
In 1998, to maximize search capacity in the cheapest way possible, Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin built thirty racks of servers that incorporated corkboard as insulation pads.