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.
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.
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.