Smithsonian's new innovation wing to explore capitalism, democracy at American history museum

MarketsAssociated Press

A wide range of innovations from Eli Whitney's cotton gin to the early Google servers will help tell the story of American business history for the first time at the Smithsonian.

The Smithsonian's National Museum of American History will open its new innovation wing on July 1. It will have galleries featuring U.S. inventions, money and hands-on activities. A major exhibition about "American Enterprise" will trace the interaction of capitalism and democracy since the mid-1700s.

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The newly renovated $63 million innovation wing is the first piece of a six-year overhaul of the museum's entire west wing. Construction began in late 2012 and is set to continue into 2018 on other floors.

Museum Director John Gray says the overhaul is part of a reinvention of the American history museum.