10 of Leonardo da Vinci’s Weirdest Inventions: Part 2

6) Giant Crossbow

Many of Leonardo da Vinci’s warfare designs were meant to intimidate the enemy, a brilliant understanding of war. This crossbow would do just that. It was designed at 27 yards across, and it’s ammunition would be rocks or bombs. The user would have to use a crank to pull back the bow and load the ammunition. To launch, the solider would have to knock out the holding pin with a mallet.

7) Clock

Although he didn’t invent the clock, Leonardo da Vinci created a clock that was more detailed. His clock was more accurate, and had better design techniques. For one, his clock used springs instead of weights. It also had a dial to help the user keep track of moon phases. Something that is also interesting about this invention, is some of the materials that he wanted to use, diamonds and rocks, something that is glorified today in many wrist watches.

8) Parachute

Many consider the first partial parachute invention to be made by Sebastien Lenormand in 1783. Leonardo da Vinci had thought of the idea much earlier. He created a design that was triangular, and had a wood frame with linen covering. Many had skepticism because of it’s build and material, saying it would probably not catch enough air and it’s build was bulky, but in 2000 Adrian Nichols tested it, and it worked. He also said it was a smoother ride.

9) Flying Machine

Leonardo Da Vinci loved the subject of aviation. He was inspired by winged animals, and this invention reflected it. Many think the bat inspired this machine as the wings feature points. The wingspan of this machine was 33 feet. The frame was made of pine and covered silk to assist with easier flight. To power the machine there would be a crank system for the pilot. The pilot would lay face down and could utilize ahead piece for steering. The wings were designed to twist and flap.

10) Scuba Gear

This invention was originally made to help soldiers create sneak attacks from underwater. He created a leather diving suit, it had a mask also. For the nose, there were two cane tubs that connected to a diving bell that would be floating on the surface. It’s purpose was for providing air to the diver. The diver would also have assistance resurfacing or diving deeper, as they would have an balloon that can inflate or deflate. There was also a pouch where the diver could urinate in.

Many of his skills worked together. His art, philosophical and technological know how played together to create magnificent designs. Many of his inventions, today, seem to have com to fruition.

10 of Leonardo da Vinci’s Weirdest Inventions: Part 1

Leonardo da Vinci’s lifetime was filled with the mastering of many skills. Most of his talents are not known to many today, as he hosted a number of subjects. He was considered a Renaissance man because of all the subjects he explored. Born in 1452, Anchiano, Tuscany, now considered Italy, he was born to an attorney and notary father, and a peasant mother. He was a single child of the two, but they never married. He still had 17 other half-siblings as his parents went on to start their own families. By 5 he lived in an estate owned by his father’s side of the family as his uncle helped to raise him. da Vinci’s uncle had a strong appreciation for nature and he shared that interest.

Most of Leonardo da Vinci’s education was self taught, as he didn’t have much formal education besides basic math,reading, writing. Andrea del Verrocchio was a sculptor and painter who da Vinci became an apprentice to at age 15 because his father noticed his talent. In 1482, he painted his first commissioned work, The Adoration of the Magi. He went on to create his most famous works of today, The Last Super, and The Mona Lisa.

Through his lifetime, he dabbled in so many subjects, that most of he’s paintings were not able to be finished. In the 1490’s, he began keeping notebooks that covered all of the subjects that he was in. He always had a deep interest in nature, mechanics, and dissected human and animals bodies for answers. These notebooks are now referred to as da Vinci’s Manuscript, and explain what he was thinking.

So, that brings us to what many did not know about Leonado da Vinci, his inventions. He created a number of remarkable inventions that most don’t know about. Here is a list of the top 10 weirdest inventions he had created.

1) The Self-Propelled Cart

A deep thinker, Leonardo da Vinci designed what might have been the first thought of motorized vehicle. Many also consider it the first robot. He built many inventions that fit into the transportation category. This machine would have been powered by spring coils, giving it the boost to propel forward. He thought of everything as it also had steering and break functions. The design was very much incredible, as the operating system boasts very practical, easy to use functions. To accelerate, the user would simply have to release the breaks and to turn, the user would have options of preset turning angles. This design confused many until the 20th century. In 2006, Florence, Italy’s Institute and Museum of the History of Science, created the model from his designs, and it worked.

2) Revolving Bridge

This design was made by Da Vinci for soldiers to utilize. It was basically a portable bridge. The idea was to make it easy for soldiers to cross a large body of water or overpass. It would wing across a moat and continue to the other side. It had wheels and utilized a rope pulley system. He thought of everything as it also included a balancing system. There was also a model bridge that had a fast construction time so that it could spread across multiple rivers. This device created mobility for armies.

3) Robotic Knight

Many of the inventions he designed required tools to create them. So, da Vinci created the Robotic Knight. It required easier construction methods and didn’t have unnecessary designs on it. It was designed to sit, stand, move it’s head, and lift its visor. In 2002, Mark Rosheim built a working prototype, that could wave and walk. Today, this design inspired many robots from NASA.

4) Ideal City

After the plague had killed a third of Milan’s population, da Vinci designed the idea of a city that was more united, communicated better, and has sanitation needs. Since many in these times would throw wastes out of their window, he designed a canal system for commercial use and as a sewage system. The city had upper and lower areas. The tradesman and travelers would utilize the lower canals and gentleman the upper. His architectural side showed in the design of buildings as they had arcs and pillars. He also had fresh ari vents for the buildings. Today, it seems that many of the things he wanted, has been created, since his design was so vast he could not rebuild his present city.

5) Armored Car

Leonardo Da Vinci created many inventions to help soldiers. Another invention was the armored car. It would be able to move in any direction and held a multitude of weapons. the car had many light cannons and could turn 360 degrees. It was protected by a large cover and was operated using man power as they would turn cranks to keep wheels in motion. Its design was to intimidate the enemy. Many scholars today say that is had major flaw that would make motion impossible. They also agree that he was a pacifist and may not have wanted the machine to be created.

Dealing With Disaster

On the list of things I never want to deal with is most definitely flooding and fires. Unfortunately, flooding has become super-common here in New Jersey, especially along the coast. While some of our worst flooding in New Jersey has been from storms like Hurricane Sandy, lots of people also have problems with hot water heaters leaking, sewage pipes backing up, sump pumps that stop working, a leaking roof, or leaky plumbing.

My mom just recently dealt with flood damage in Toms River. She’d pretty much avoided any trouble during Sandy, but she had an upstairs hot water heater that leaked while she was away on vacation. It was a disaster. She was gone for two weeks on a cruise and the heater apparently ran and leaked for the entire time. In her house the water heater is above the kitchen. Basically the fridge, oven/stove, all the cabinets, and half the drywall had to come out.

The mess was incredible!  I know her vacation was relaxing, and coming home to the incredible mess was just devastating.  She knew there was a problem when we pulled into the driveway.  There was a slightly icy patch outside the kitchen door that looked suspicious.  This was water that had leaked from the kitchen floor straight out into the pad by the door.  Besides the pool of water on the kitchen floor, the ceiling sheetrock was sagging and dripping, the wood trim and cabinets had swelled in several spots.  It was obvious that the floor and most of the cabinetry was totally ruined.  We got out of there pretty quick, especially worried about getting electrocuted.

Oh. And there was mold. As the restoration company said, you shouldn’t even enter a house with mold. They used hazmat suits, tented off the area, and wore ventilator masks. Crazy! I had no idea that mold was toxic, but apparently it’s really dangerous to breathe it in even for a short amount of time. They said that mold shoots spores into the air that contain toxins. Breathing this stuff is both toxic to your health and bad for your lungs.

There wasn’t a lot of structural damage, but there was a ton of construction. The kitchen basically had to be redone and the resto company had a huge dumpster outside for a couple of days just disposing of the garbage that was once a kitchen. The blew everything out with huge fans and had to actually certify the air before resuming construction. Once everything was dried out and they got back to work, they worked like lightning. The kitchen was back together in about a week and everything was perfect.

My mom was pretty thrilled with the whole process. The restoration company dealt with the insurance directly and everything was pretty painless. It was great because when she returned from vacation, her kitchen was basically a horror show, and they turned absolutely everything around extremely quickly.

If you have a water or fire problem I highly recommend you contact NJ Flood and Fire Restoration for any water or fire restoration issue in Ocean County, New Jersey!  In the aftermath, she also had her hot water tank moved to the garage to prevent this problem from ever happening again.

12 Amazing Things About The Last Supper: Part 4

10) Mural FAIL

At the time, frescos were made by painting tempura paints onto we plaster which would help preserve and extend the life of the image. This time Da Vinci was painting on dry plaster so he would have much more vivid coloring which he did achieve…for a while. A few years after the mural was finished it began to deteriorate, and the painting has been in a perpetual state of restoration ever since.

11) When Was It Finished?

Art historians all agree that Da Vinci started the mural in 1495, but from there they tend to butt heads. No one is quite sure when it was completed. Some say 1497 while others think 1498. We know that his work was slowed down due to working on other projects, and that’s about it.

12) What’s For Dinner?

Most people believed that the food being consumed by Jesus and the Disciples was simply bread and wine, mainly due to the fact that the bible specifically lists these items, but during a 1997 restoration the menu changed. It was discovered that on one of the plates to the left of Jesus there’s eel garnished with orange pieces being served as well. Part of the reason that it was probably added is that eels and oranges was a popular meal in the 1400’s, not to mention one Da Vinci’s favorites.

12 Amazing Things About The Last Supper: Part 3

7) Center Of Attention

Da Vinci wanted Jesus to be the focus of the image, which is obvious and understandable. That’s why there are six disciples on each said of him, and if you look closely, all of the imagery’s lines of perception in both the back and foreground perfectly align with Jesus’ head.

8) Who’s The Boss?

The mural’s patron was the Duke of Milan, Lodovico Sforza, who at the time was trying make a good impression to both his subjects and his peers with elaborate forms of art and architecture. Sforza chose the location and the subject matter, Da Vinci had no say in it. Fun fact: This is the same Lodovico Sforza that the character of the same name in the television series Borgia was based off of.

9) Standing Out In A Crowd

The event of the last supper had been an art topic that had been tackled many many times before and Da Vinci wanted to make his depiction of the subject matter unique. Previous paintings tried to focus on the entire event by including lot’s of symbolism associated with the affair and with characters that look as if they are each floating around in their own little world. Da Vinci’s Last Supper on the other hand is focusing on the exact moment that Jesus’ informed his disciples of his upcoming betrayal and fast approaching death. To recreate the moment he focused on creating extremely vivid and accurate facial expressions for the disciples. He called the act of painting emotion “movements of the soul.” One other way Da Vinci broke the traditional rules was his inclusion of Judas Iscariot. Typically in previous works, Judas would either be separated from the devoted disciples or was giving his betraying kiss. Here Da Vinci intentionally included him at the table, amid the others to emphasize the fact that Judas was a human being just like the others.

12 Amazing Things About The Last Supper: Part 2

4) Been Through Hell

If you’re over 500 years old, you’re bound to have seen some bad times, which this mural certainly has. It’s actually a miracle that the it’s survived at all. At one point, Napolean’s armies used the room as a stable for their horses and stored hay there, and though they were ordered to leave the mural alone, they still ended up throwing clay all over it. Later on in 1800, there was a flood which resulted in the growth of green mold which ultimately covered the entire wall. Later on in 1943, the building was destroyed during bombing in WWII. The mural was spared due to it being protected with sandbags and only received minor injury. The monastery was rebuilt around the mural after the war ended.

5) Say Cheese

It’s speculated, but not proven that the painting includes two self portraits of Da Vinci according to art expert Ross King. He believes that the two figures to the left of Jesus, which are Thomas and James the Lesser, are modeled after Da Vinci himself. King came to this conclusion by comparing the figures to another portrait of Da Vinci and believes that the resemblances of the noses, hair styles and beards are far too similar to be a coincidence. It’s actually been theorized many times that Da Vinci included himself into many of his works, but again there’s no solid proof.

6) Don’t Push

Da Vinci wasn’t exactly known for being the fastest artist. He actually was quite the opposite. Da Vinci had a bad habit of procrastination and abandoning works all together on occasion. At one point, while working on the Last Supper the prior of Santa Maria delle Grazie began harassing Da Vinci and trying to get him to speed up his progress. Da Vinci retaliated by threatening to use the prior as his model for Judas Iscariot. The prior left him alone.