Telluride Museum & Pinhead: “Places of Invention” Evening

Telluride Museum & Pinhead: “Places of Invention” Evening

Telluride Historical Museum & Pinhead Institute unveil local contribution to groundbreaking, collaborative Smithsonian exhibition

Pinheads on Hydroelectric Generator at Ames Power Plant. THM 2005-01-189.

Pinheads on Hydroelectric Generator at Ames Power Plant. THM 2005-01-189.

If you’ve been in the area for a while, you have undoubtedly heard the names L.L. Nunn, George Westinghouse and Nikola Tesla  – but maybe you’re a little fuzzy as to the reasons why.

Join the Telluride Historical Museum and The Pinhead Institute, in conjunction with the Smithsonian’s “Places of Invention” program, which takes place at the Sheridan Opera House Tuesday, January 13, 6 p.m. Learn more about the many scientific advances born in the Telluride region during a “Places of Invention” Evening.

“People young and old will be inspired by the stories of invention and innovation taking place in and around Telluride,” said Pinhead’s Executive Director Sarah Holbrooke.

The evening opens with the first public screening of “Hydro Power,” a 30-minute documentary about the Hydroelectric Generating Plant, the first in the world to generate alternating current electricity for industrial applications. The film was produced by Rocky Mountain PBS as part of its Colorado Experience history series.

Next, students from Telluride Middle/High School and The Mountain School give TED-style presentations on topics relating to specific moments of innovation in the Telluride region including the Gondola; Wagner Skis; biodiversity, and conservation of the Valley Floor; and a new forest health application being developed by Pinhead with The Mountain School and Sheep Mountain Alliance.

“The kids are excited to share what they’ve learned and I bet the audience will go away knowing more about STEM in Telluride and feeling even prouder about where we live,” said Holbrooke.

The evening concludes with a panel discussion and audience Q&A featuring Telluride scholars Dr. Ravel Ammerson (Colorado School of Mines), Alfred Hughes (Superintendent of the Ames Power Plant), and Erica Kinias (Executive Director, Telluride Historical Museum).

The event is the culmination of the Telluride Historical Museum and Pinhead’s efforts to research and document innovation in the Telluride region. They collaborated after being selected by the Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation to participate in its groundbreaking “Places of Invention” an exhibition following a national call for contributors in 2013.

The 3,500-square-foot exhibition featuring a selection of “hot spots” of invention and innovation opens at the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C., July 4, 2015.

Along with other Affiliate teams,  the local team joins the six members of the project’s pilot phase in taking visitors on a journey through time and place to discover the stories of people who lived, worked, played, collaborated, adapted, took risks, solved problems and sometimes failed—all in the pursuit of something new.

“We are thrilled that Telluride was selected to participate in the “Places of Invention” program,” said Kinias. “Having Telluride recognized as an innovative community by our Smithsonian partners is an incredible honor and is testimony to Telluride’s strong history of innovative residents.”

For a preview of the doc, watch this video:

For more information about this event or Pinhead Institute programs go here or call 970-369-5190.

The Pinhead Institute is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and Smithsonian Affiliate based in Telluride, Colorado that educates and inspires children and adults in the greater Telluride region about the wonders of science and technology through engaging programs, direct interaction with scientists, and unique research-centered internship experiences. To learn more visit: or call 970-369-5190.

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