It was only a matter of time before the Smithsonian chose to recognize Steve Jobs’ contributions to technology, and they have chosen to do so with an exhibit they have entitled, “The Patents and Trademarks of Steve Jobs: Art and Technology that Changed the World.”
According to the Smithsonian, the day he began in 1976 trying to build the first small computer designed for personal use to over three decades later, Jobs (and Apple) “changed the way people communicate and interact on a daily basis.”
Included in the exhibit are 30 – 4 by 8 foot panels that were designed to resemble iPhones by National Inventors Hall of Game and Museum in Alexandria, Va., that showcase 312 of the 317 patents and trademarks that were granted to Jobs during his career. Also included are a selection of special items, such as “a 1985 Apple Macintosh computer, mouse, and keyboard; a 2005 NeXT monitor, sound box, microcomputer, keyboard and mouse; and a 2010 Apple iPod.” These items will be located in a special display case at the entrance to the exhibit.
It may be of interest for many of you to learn that not all of the patents are highly technical in nature. Lesser known patents held by Jobs include the lanyard used for the iPod and iPhone headphones as well as the spectacular glass staircases located inside large Apple stores. There are also several patents relating directly to packaging (special boxes and plastic cradles for Apple devices) and a wide variety of user interface concepts ranging from new ideas for MacOS to the AppleTV.
For those interested in viewing this exhibit, it is scheduled to be on display in the S. Dillon Ripley Center concourse from May 11 to July 8 (open daily from 10:00AM until 5:30PM).
Smithsonian Secretary Wayne Clough has indicated that this collection is the first of many that the museum intends to do with the patent office.