Invented: Propelled by Imagination

Invented: Propelled by Imagination explores how the 19th century became an incredible time of rapid change.

Invented - Propelled by Imagination

The Western scientific discoveries achieved during this period sparked the imaginations of writers and illustrators, as they dreamed of a different future in a new genre: science-fiction, where the impossible becomes possible.

Pull up a chair, flip through a book, open drawers to see what’s inside, and read about the amazing innovations that fueled the fantastical imaginations of the writers and illustrators who shaped how we see the world today!

The Invented: Propelled by Imagination exhibit is included with your general admission to Black Creek Pioneer Village.


Invented - Propelled by Imagination is the newest exhibit at Black Creek Pioneer Village


Did you know that the term “scientist” was first coined in 1840?

The 1800s also saw the development of modern Western medicine. Many commonly used medical devices can trace their origins to this century.

the Invented - Propelled by Imagination exhibit showcases the great scientific and technological innovations of the 19th century

Even everyday items that consumers took for granted by the 20th century – light bulbs, telephones, typewriters, sewing machines, and phonographs – were all products of the 19th century!

Explore the scientist’s study, sit down, and read about the real people of diverse backgrounds who shaped our world today in the fields of medicine, botany, astronomy … and the list goes on!


Not only were the 1800s filled with scientific innovation – the era also birthed the genre of science-fiction itself!

Learn about the writers whose stories created the genre, and how they imagined what the future would look like using technology.

Invented - Propelled by Imagination explores the birth of science fiction in the 1800s

Some of the most influential authors of the genre, such as Mary Shelley, Jules Verne, Bram Stoker, and H.G. Wells, are still well known today. Modern science-fiction authors work from the foundation they laid.

Time travel? Aliens? Artificial intelligence? What will the 22nd century look like?


Writers were not the only creative people envisioning the future. As the 1800s ended, visual artists were creating vivid images of the upcoming 20th century.

From Albert Robida to Jean-Marc Côté and many in between, artists imagined a future filled with possibilities.

Explore the Viewmaster Interactive to see what artists in the 1800s predicted the year 2000 would look like! What did they get right? What do you wish we had now?

a visitor to the Invented - Propelled by Imagination exhibit uses a viewer to experience the work of visionary 19th century visual artists


The early works of science-fiction remain relevant to the 21st century – those writers were responding to their era, just as modern authors are.

Today, diverse authors have reshaped the conversation, broadening the horizons of science-fiction. What do you think will happen next? Snap a selfie and tell us your predictions!

the Invented - Propelled by Imagination exhibit considers how contemporary science fiction writers are envisioning the future

Exhibition designed by Nuria Montblanch Designs and Juiceworks Exhibits.


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Teachers & Students

Want to learn more with your class? Book an Invented: Propelled by Imagination themed program that takes you inside the Village and through the exhibit. Delve deep into breakthroughs in botany, computer science, geology, physics, and medicine!


With Thanks

This exhibition highlights artifacts on loan from the Royal Ontario Museum, the Ontario Science Centre, The Dr. Who Society of Canada, and private collectors.


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