Inventions: Buffalo Industries

N. Pauly

Unit: Rise of Industry
Lesson: Introduction to Inventions and Buffalo Inventions (Two Days)


 Objectives: The students will be able to:

  • Identify former inventions.
  • Examine how GM engines have revolutionized industry and Buffalo.
  • Read about their specific Buffalo company.
  • Report to the class their findings about their company. 


  • What inventions have changed your lives?
  • When do you think invention started?
  • Show slides on inventions. This will illustrate objects from the PVMA collections.
  • Have the students try to identify these objects.
  • What can we learn from these early inventions?


1.   List on the board the inventions that you learned about last night from the reading. Examples:

  • Edison – Phonograph
  • Bell – Telephone
  • Gillette – Disposable Razor
  • Eastman – Kodak Camera

2.   Examine the video on the building of General Motors.

  • Why did GM choose Buffalo?
  • How has the motor car engine changed our lives?
  • How have cars changed from the early 1900 until today?

3.   Divide the classroom into partners. Each group will be responsible for examining their Buffalo industry and reporting back to the group. Each group will have to complete their worksheet. 

4.   Each group will have to report to the class.


  • What company are your surprised that started in Buffalo?
  • What company have you heard of or used their products?


  • Read the next section in your book.

New York State Standards: 

  • Social Studies Standard for United States History
  • Resource Guide: Inventions