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Nearly 200 years of innovation unite in new history exhibit at the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium

Dubuque, Iowa – Innovative Dubuque – Sparking Centuries of Ingenuity, a new temporary exhibit opening May 18 at the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium, highlights the genius of entrepreneurs, inventors, and businesses through nearly 200 years of local innovation and inspiration.

Featuring artifacts from the Dubuque County Historical Society’s collections, held at the River Museum, as well as loaned items from area individuals and businesses, the exhibit will explore the back-story of many well-known and lesser-known local innovations. From the development of Farley & Loetscher’s Farlite, a forerunner of Formica, to early 20th century electric motors from Bodine Electric Company used to power dental equipment, Innovative Dubuque explores enhancements in technology, transportation, design, and more.

“The exhibit lays out local innovators’ problems, dreams, and ideas as well as their resulting innovations,” said Cristin Waterbury, Director of Curatorial Services. “Visitors will get a sense of the immense innovating power generated over the years within Dubuque County and even a bit about how some of these innovations were transported across the nation and around the world.”

Innovative Dubuque will be open for a year in the upper level of the River Museum’s Mississippi River Discovery Center and is included with general admission. The exhibit was made possible through generous support from the State Historical Society of Iowa’s Historic Resource Development Program and the Mediacom Arts and Culture Grant Program.