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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Draper Artifacts on Exhibit at Smithsonian Museum Nov. 6, 2009 – Summer 2011

The Smithsonian Institution exhibit called Hot Spots of Invention at the National Museum of American History, which features Draper artifacts, opened Nov. 6, 2009, and is scheduled to run through summer 2011. The exhibit highlights how three laboratories at MIT during World War II helped make Cambridge into a dynamic place of invention. Doc Draper’s lab at MIT is represented in the exhibit, including display of Doc’s shoebox gunsight, a design used in antiaircraft guns aboard naval ships to shoot down attack aircraft. Additionally, Draper Laboratory’s replica of the Draper Prize medal that was taken into space by astronaut and former Draper Fellow Col. Ken Cameron will be on display in the exhibit. There is no fee to visit the exhibit. 

In conjunction with the opening of the Hot Spots of Invention exhibit, a symposium was held Nov. 6-7 organized into three themes: Places, People, and Spaces. Dr. Bradford Parkinson, 2003 Draper Prize corecipient (with Ivan Getting) for development of the Global Positioning System, gave the keynote address, entitled “Tracing the Origins of GPS,” on Nov. 6, which was free and open to the public. Parkinson is now a member emeritus of the Draper Corporation, but previously has served on Draper’s Board of Directors. The keynote was preceded by a private dedication reception at which Draper President Jim Shields was a speaker.

As part of the symposium’s People section, Dr. Leslie Berlin spoke Nov. 7 about Dr. Robert Noyce, corecipient (with Jack Kilby) of the 1989 Draper Prize, awarded for invention of the monolithic integrated circuit. Draper is a sponsor of the symposium and the exhibit, along with the Lemelson Foundation. The symposium was free and open to the public. 

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