Once Upon a Try

A journey of invention and discovery

In collaboration with

and 111 more collections

From the very beginning...

...humans have tried to learn more about the world around us

...and invent things that shape our world

Did you know... Thomas Jefferson invented the swivel chair and sat on the first one while writing the Declaration of Independence

But the road hasn't always been easy...

Did you know... In the 1950s, Alfred Fielding and Marc Chavannes were trying to make 3D plastic wallpaper. It was a complete failure. Today, we know it as Bubble Wrap.

Some people even lost their lives along the way

Did you know... Marie Curie's notebooks emit such dangerous levels of radioactivity that they still have to be kept in lead-lined boxes today.

...and overlooked figures have often changed the world

Did you know... Hollywood star Hedy Lamarr helped to invent Wifi.

For millennia, people have looked up and pondered the big questions...

NASA's visual universe

See what happens when machine learning meets 127,000 images from the NASA archives

...looked inside and examined the tiny building blocks of everything

...and looked to each other to make our world a better place

Did you know... Volvo invented the three point seat belt and then gave free license to all other car manufacturers to use it

What's next?

How will you help shape our future?

Explore Once Upon a Try

Over 400 stories by curators from science and technology museums around the world

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