American Enterprise Exhibition Photography
Visitors to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History will be immersed in the dramatic arc of labor, power, wealth, success and failure in America as the museum opens “American Enterprise” in the Mars Hall of American Business July 1st, 2015. The nation’s business story will unfold in an 8,000-square-foot gallery that is the anchor exhibition in the museum’s new Innovation Wing.

Through more than 600 objects, images, hands-on activities and video, “American Enterprise” traces the country’s development from a small, dependent agricultural nation to one of the world’s most vibrant economies.

“American Enterprise” will convey the drama, breadth and diversity of America’s business heritage along with its benefits, failures and unanticipated consequences, through four chronological eras: the Merchant Era (1770s–1850s), the Corporate Era (1860s–1930s), the Consumer Era (1940s– 1970s) and the Global Era (1980s–2010s). Within these eras are woven stories on advertising and a biography wall with capsule stories of inventors, entrepreneurs, marketers, regulators and others.

The Wallace H. Coulter Exchange section is filled with interactive displays to provide a hands-on understanding of innovation, markets and business practices. Activities include lighting the “Tower of Power;” taking the Farming Challenge and launching a cat food business.

The exhibit’s website will launch July 1 at
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