Leonardo Da Vinci's Life


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Leonardo Da Vinci Inventions

Many of us know that Leonardo Da Vinci was a brilliant artist with celebrated and poignant masterpieces such as The Mona Lisa, The Vitruvian Man and The Last Supper. These works have resonated within circles of art lovers for centuries, and their true meanings are debated in classrooms, cafes and art galleries all over the world. Aside from his masterful, artistic talent, Da Vinci also possessed an acute scientific mind that he put to good use by inventing and re-inventing dozens of contraptions. However, Leonardo Da Vinci inventions have been somewhat overlooked and one might be pleasantly surprised to discover some of the ideas that have sprung from this artist’s mind.

Sketches of Flying MachinesFlying Inventions
Leonardo Da Vinci’s fascination with machines began when he was merely a boy. His earliest sketches depict the inner workings of various machines from his era. Eventually, his creativity led to the outlines of flying machines, weapons and musical instruments. Leonardo first became enamored with the idea of flight in the 1480s. He designed what is called the ornithopter flying machine. Although the invention never came to fruition during his time, many believe that the helicopter was indeed inspired by Da Vinci. His creations may also have given rise to today’s hand glider and parachute.

Springs and Things
Da Vinci inventions were diverse. He is credited with creating one of the first primitive alarm clocks, a contraption based on the flow of water. A thin stream of water would drip from one container to another until the second container was full, at which time the legs of the sleeping Da Vinci would be lifted by a combination of pulleys and gears, hence rousing him awake.

Although never actually constructed, Da Vinci designed a crane capable of moving large boulders effortlessly and efficiently, most likely intended for gathering stones from a quarry.

War Machines
Leonardo Da Vinci inventions encompass the ordinary as well as the fantastic. He has been credited with designing the first war tank. It had to be moved with cranks by the hands of men or could be pulled by horses. The one major flaw in Da Vinci's design was that the front and back wheels were made to turn in opposing directions. Rumors have it that this phenomenon may have been intentional as Da Vinci was believed to be an anti-war individual. He took the makings of slingshots, crossbows and other hand-held weapons and worked on improving their functionality. He fashioned a short-range catapult that, although not far-reaching, was easier and quicker to load than any gun of that time.

Committing many of his sketches to paper, it is rumored that Da Vinci had dozens of journals that depicted his fantastical ideas - most of which might have been viewed as foolhardy.


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