Peoria Riverfront Museum focuses on interdisciplinary learning across the fields of art, history, and science. It has participated in Places of Invention—an ongoing research project of the Smithsonian Lemelson Center, which explores how communities stimulate creative minds and spark a surge of innovation. The museum displays community history. A highlight is "Old Betsy," a 1931 prototype of the first diesel engine mass-produced by the construction machinery company Caterpillar Inc. It is on view in its hometown Peoria on loan from the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.