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Kansas City Museum Celebrates History Of Innovation And Invention in KC

The Country Club Plaza is a staple in Kansas City, but did you know it was the first shopping mall in the country?

Barbers would still be cutting your whole head with scissors if Samuel Coffman hadn't invented electric hair clippers, and washing your dishes would be a much bigger hassle if Marion Trozzolo didn't think to combine Teflon with pans.

The history of innovation and invention conceived in Kansas City is crucial to the city's identity, and starting June 1 the Kansas City Museum will celebrate this history. 

The That's The Idea! Patents and Inventions from the Kansas City Museum Collection exhibit showcases items and actual patents for inventions and ideas from Kansas City inventors over the last 100 years.

Museum director Christopher Leitch and Denise Morrison, the director of collections and curatorial services, share some of the highlights of this free exhibit, including an automated hay baler, and the many inventions of former Kansas City Fire Chief Charles Hale. Plus, they discuss the modern work of local inventors showcased at Maker Faire Kansas City.

Laura Spencer writes about arts and culture for KCUR. Follow her on Twitter @lauraspencer.
Matthew Long-Middleton has been a talk-show producer, community producer and now is the Media Training Manager with America Amplified. You can reach him at, or on Twitter.