Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Did anyone design better wooden machines than Leonardo da Vinci?

Here is some video showing part of an exhibit that was at the California University of Pennsylvania titled Leonardo da Vinci: Machines in Motion. In it, we see the breadth of Leonardo's genius. There is a large-scale wing designed for human flight, a pillar lifting device, and a water-powered saw mill. This, of course, just scratches the surface of what he created, but it gives you a feel for the ingenious way in which his mind worked on a both practical and fanciful problems.

If you are as fascinated by Leonardo's machines as I am, you might want to check out the book Leonardo's Machines: Da Vinci's Inventions Revealed which gets a 5-star rating on Amazon -- no small accomplishment.

From the book description:

This unique volume combines work from the original secret, coded, notebooks along with modern computer imaging, to piece together over 30 of Leonardo da Vinci's mechanical inventions into a sensational set of never-seen-before artworks. From Leonardo da Vinci's descriptions and drawings - and by using digital imaging - armoured ships, hydraulic machinery, winches and machines destined for use in war, work and pleasure emerge fully equipped and functional in stunning 3-dimensional, computer-generated artworks.

Also of interest may be a different book, Leonardo's Machines: Secrets & Inventions in the Da Vinci Codices. This one explores what Leonardo's inventions would have looked like if his sketches were brought to life in three dimensions. Sadly, we can't preview the inside of this book on Amazon, but the reviewers like it. Let me know if you have it and like it.

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