INTERNATIONAL MUSEUM OF SURGICAL SCIENCE:
FROM MATCHSTICKS TO TOWN CARS
Heiress to funds accrued from her father’s innovation—the diamond-shaped matchstick—Eleanor Robinson Countiss created products ranging from the first liquid shampoo to a town car produced by Ford. Presently the museum's collections encompass exemplary medical devices, including a perfusion pump invented by pilot Charles Lindbergh.
MILLS NOVELTY COMPANY
Second owner Herbert Mills and his Mills Novelty Company invented and manufactured the coin-operated slot, paving the way for innovations in slot machines and automated music boxes. A Mills Novelty Company Violano Virtuoso is on display in the home.
ROBERT R. MCCORMICK MUSEUM/CANTIGNY:
"I LIKE TO EXPERIMENT..."
As a newspaperman, Robert R. McCormick held several patents that improved printing press operation, but his fascination with mechanics and engineering went beyond the media. While serving as president of Chicago’s Sanitary District from 1906 to 1911, McCormick designed new ways to keep drinking water safe. He also invented a multi-purpose shovel in World War I.
THE DRIEHAUS MUSEUM:
Originally the home was lit by a mixture of gas and electric lighting. An 1888 Chicago Tribune article about a Nickerson Christmas party describes the use of electricity in the house. The home's second owner, Lucius Fisher, installed Edison bulbs in the marble cornices of the first two floors.