In this Aug. 31, 2017 file photo, a church-goers hand is held in the doorway of a church in Rome.
(AP Photo/Giampiero Sposito) The New York Times is reporting that the Catholic Church’s $1 billion gift to the National Museum of American History will fund a new collection of 19th century American art to complement a new exhibit that opened on Monday, the museum announced.
The museum said in a statement on Thursday that it would work with the museum’s trustees to create a permanent exhibit about the life of Thomas Edison and the industrial revolution, which began in Edison’s lifetime and ended in his death in 1885.
Edison’s inventions, like the steam engine and the light bulb, were hugely influential.
The National Museum has been exploring how the 19th-century industrial revolution was transformed by the technology revolution.
Edison was a leading innovator in the new technology.
His inventions, including the alternating current system that powered the electric lightbulb and the steam-powered telegraph, were used to create modern power grids and electric lighting systems.
The Smithsonian Institution has also been looking at the early days of electric lighting.
The museum has been working on a collection of Edison-era lighting products that will go on display as part of the Edison Museum of Innovation at the National Archives.
The Smithsonian has also recently begun the process of digitizing a collection from Edison’s workshop in Rochester, N.Y.
The gift from the Vatican will be used to fund a series of projects at the museum that include new exhibition “The Invention of the Electric Lightbulb” and a new digital exhibition of Edison’s early experiments.
The new exhibit will be a joint venture with the University of Rochester.