Creating An Inventors' Showcase

Creating An Inventors' Showcase
Lucy Hayes: Economics, Discovery and Daily Life

Skill: High School/College
Time Required: One to three class periods


Lucy Webb Hayes’ lifetime was a period of great creativity in America.  There were numerous inventions and technological advances during the late nineteenth century especially. 


The purpose of this lesson is to highlight the inventiveness and creativity that was a hallmark of the period from 1830 to 1890 in American history.  This time period saw the development of many inventions that utilized the new technology of the age.  Through this lesson, students will develop an awareness and, hopefully, an appreciation of the spirit of invention that is so uniquely American.

Materials Required:

Access to the Internet Inventions timeline link Access to print reference materials


1.  Using the Timeline on the websites below, have students identify the inventions between 1830 and 1890.

2.  Have each student select one invention and, using the web and/or print resources, research the inventor and the specific invention.  The teacher may wish to keep a master list to reduce duplications.

3.  Each student will create an artifact (a document, a picture, a model—something to represent the invention).

4.  Class presentations will be accompanied by the artifacts.

Extending the Lesson:

The teacher may choose to make this a group rather than an individual activity.  This is also an excellent opportunity to work in collaboration with the science and/or technology departments in your school.   The teacher may decide to assign specific areas for groups of students to research, e.g., industry, agriculture, communications, medicine, etc.  Classroom presentations may also be done via PowerPoint or other technological media.  Students can complete the research, construction of the artifact, and development of the presentation at home on in the classroom, according to the teacher’s preference.

Sources & Resources:

 This lesson was created and developed by Bette Brooks, Kent State