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This invention was originally made to help soldiers create sneak attacks from underwater.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.

12 Amazing Things About The Last Supper: Part 1

Leonardo Da Vinci is by far the most famous High Renaissance artist he world knows of. Even the average laymen that has absolutely no knowledge or education on any art form knows the name and is aware of at least some of his paintings, and typically one of those painting is The Last Supper. This masterpiece that Da Vinci gifted to the world is not simply some pretty picture though. It’s history and background are just as interesting, if not more so, than it’s creator.

1) Size Does Matter

While people are highly aware of the image itself, most don’t realize that it’s not a painting on canvas and that it’s size is much more grand than just a couple feet. The Last Supper is actually a mural in the dining hall of what used to be a monastery. It’s actual size is 15 x 29 feet. On top of that, you may notice in photos of the wall, there’s a doorway that cuts off the bottom half of Jesus. At the time of the painting, that doorway wasn’t there and Jesus’s bottom half was part of the mural. The door was added to the room and the altercation of the mural happenned in 1650.

2) His Right Hand…Man?

The standard belief is that the mural is a depiction of Jesus with his Twelve Disciples, which obviously makes sense, and that the person sitting to his immediate right is the Apostle John. But people can’t help but notice how feminine John appears to be so it’s been a popular theory that it’s not John, but actually Mary Magdalene. The problem there is Magdalene was not a disciples and the bible makes no mention of her participation in the last supper.

3) Now That’s A Stretch

There’s a theory that Da Vinci incorporated a subliminal letter M into the painting by using Jesus’ and Judas’ pose together. The M supposedly stands for Magdalene and apparently implies that she was one of the disciples. The belief is seriously flawed since the names of all 12 disciples are known and the Bible clearly lists off their presence at the Last supper and had Magdalene attended that would make 13 disciples. Da Vinci Code type conspiracy theorists also believe that Jesus and Michael’s/Magdalene’s arms form a V which was a female symbol of the womb and is supposed to suggest that Jesus and Magdalene had an intimate relationship. These are immensely weak arguments so most people dismiss the theory.

How da Vinci’s Journaling Made Him a Better Artist

Leonardo da Vinci was a man of many talents. He was an artist, inventor, athlete, scientist and musician. He was good at both work and play. Some of his creations have been acclaimed worldwide for years.

Da Vinci was a genius because of his stellar creations and their ability to inspire others to be just as creative. His creation was mesmerizing, and at times tiresome to comprehend. He was always learning and creating new things.
He used his acumen well and had habits that made him a better artist.

Leonardo Da Vinci had a notebook with him at all times. He liked to record any ideas that came to mind. He also took note of observations and imprints. His notebook had tales and jokes. He jotted down what he liked about other scholars, his own insights, prophesies and painting.

His journals also had details about his finances, thoughts on home difficulties, philosophy, inventions, and articles on geology, anatomy, botany, water and flight.

To him, keeping a journal was a healthy habit. It helped him mentally and physically. Science also supports this theory about the benefits of having a journal. A journal helps to unclog the mind, ease negative feelings and simplify thoughts. It further helps to solve problems commendably and enhance immunity.

He is renowned for his artistic creation. He is the creator of the “The Last Supper” and “Mona Lisa” paintings. He further learned engineering from his personal studies. He was motivated to learn and he constantly asked questions and did experiments.

He lived in Italy in the in the mid-1400s at a time when there was no electricity and clocks. Still, he was an engineer, and a gifted theoretical and practical inventor. His artistry led him to discover mechanical ideas that have contributed greatly to modern society.

He focused on developing new machines and improving the living standards of people and animals. He used his drawings and notes to make better designs and enhance his engineering.

Da Vinci studied and designed war apparatus such as the catapults, tanks, machine guns and submarines. He drew plans for a three-wheeled and self-propelling device. He was skilled in geometry and making architectural designs of canals, churches and fortresses.

Because he was mostly self-taught, his journal was very important in educating him on what others were doing and what he could improve on. He wrote dozens of journals and filled them with inventions and theories.

He used his intellect and imagination creatively. His notes had inventions such as the bicycle, the helicopter and airplane. He had a hunger for knowledge and was always drawing, observing, inventing and experimenting. His journal was the tool that recorded all this.

Most of his drawings were on his notebook. He wrote down his line of thought and ideas for his paintings. He observed and noted different gestures and poses. He also made notes of the performances of actors on stage, marking their position and also included input from the world around him. His observations are behind the drawings such as the “Virgin of the Rocks”.

Leonardo was good at noting sketches, ideas and images from his imagination. He captured his observations on animals, humans, plants and motion of water.

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo was a man of mystery and even today, we know less about him than we do about Lady Gaga. However, through his art and the remaining notebooks that have been discovered and rediscover we get a picture of a man with a protean genius and an insatiable curiosity about the world. Today you are about to learn 10 little know facts about this man who was called the “Universal Man” and the “Renaissance Man” that you might not be aware of.

It is with the hope your curiosity will be aroused and you will seek out more information about the man, the artist, and the thinker to help you look at the world with new eyes and a child’s curiosity once more.

1) Leonardo was raised by his father.

Leonardo’s father never married his mother and though Leonardo lived with her until he was 5 years old, he was never really that close with her. After 5 years, he went to live with his father who raised him and got him his apprenticeship to Andrea Del Verrocchio in 1467. Verrocchio was the official sculpture to the Medici family and this would allow Leonardo his first taste of what an artist’s life was like. Apprenticeship was a common way to teach a trade to an illegitimate child who could never hope to inherit and it allowed one to earn a living and perhaps gain station in life though barred from the aristocracy of the time because of paternity.

2) Leonardo received no formal schooling.

Much has been made of the fact Leonardo had no formal education. However, it should be remembered at this time home education often trumped formal education as the rich hired tutors of the best quality. Leonardo’s talents in art allowed him also to be apprenticed to one of the best artists in Italy at the time.

Yet the apprentice system was probably one of the finest ways to hone one’s skills as you lived and breathed the work often 24 hours a day as compared to our multi-topical system of today where scant hours are Spent covering a range of topics and only to the extent of passing an exam. Then the knowledge is conveniently forgotten to make room for the next test.

In Leonardo’s time, mastery was the only criteria and you stayed with a lesson until it was done to the master’s often-grudging approval.

3) Leonardo’s writings were never published during his lifetime.

The thousands of pages of Leonardo’s documents, sketches, and writings were never for public consumption. He wrote mostly for himself rather than posterity. After his death, they were sold off and scattered to the four winds and only later was an effort made to recover them and put them in some kind of order.

A large amount of Leonardo’s work is lost still and is perhaps still to be found in some forgotten cubbyhole in a dusty Libra somewhere in Europe or in a private family collection.

Who knows what treasures and secrets are still waiting to be discovered?

4) None of his amazing inventions were ever built

For all Leonardo’s understanding and creativity, almost all of his inventions were never built or displayed.

One recorded instance of a mechanical garden created by Leonardo for his patrons amusement is one of the only recorded instances where his ingenuity was made into reality. However recently it has come to light through a newly discovered codex of drawings and notes that Leonardo may have created some of the first robots. This was in the form of a knight in armor and could stand and move its arms. This was all done to amuse another patron in 1495. Discovered in the 1950s these plans and drawings were used to build a replica and it worked exactly as described. Leonardo’s inventions were conceptually far ahead of his time and if he had a power source the world would be much different from what it is today.

5) Leonardo gained notoriety as a musician first instead of an artist.

Most people do not know that Leonardo was also a gifted artist and his first exposure to court life in Renaissance Italy was not for his paintings, sculpture, and mechanical acumen, but for his ability with the lyre of which it is said he could play like an angel. This is high praise indeed, as the Church controlled much of the wealth in Europe and getting commissions for art, music, and sculpture from the clergy was how many of the great artists survived to ply their art.

6) Bill Gates shelled out big bucks for the only non-European codex of his papers.

In 1994, Microsoft Billionaire Bill Gates purchased Leonardo’s Codex Leicester for over $30 million dollars. This book has the distinction of being the highest priced book every sold. It is probably the most important of the 30 Leonardo collections as it details much of his scientific observations and writings, written shortly after finishing the Mona Lisa when Leonardo was in his 50s it shows his genius at the peak of his career and artistic ability around 1508.

7) Leonardo left Florence after he was accused of sodomy.

Leonardo was brought up on sodomy charges in 1476 by anonymous sources. While many believe, it was done by jealous artist angered at Leonardo’s sudden rise to fame. Others believe it was an attempt to discredit the Medici family who were Leonardo’s patrons at the time. Machiavelli himself was a close personal friend of Leonardo.

This is reminiscent of the current Bill Cosby scandal where women have come forth to accuse Mr. Cosby of sexual impropriety. In Mr. Cosby’s case, much of his good works are being forgotten and even the Cosby show, which has been a hallmark in Black Entertainment, has now been tarnished and is being pulled from Public viewing.

However, in Renaissance Florence charges of sexual proclivity if proven true resulted in the death penalty. Something Mr. Cosby does not have to fear.

Though nothing was proven against Leonard, it was enough of a traumatic experience to haunt him and he left Florence for Milan to start his life over there.

8) Some believe one of the Apostils in the Last supper is Leonardo himself.

A news story broke in the Daily Mail from Oct 18 poses the theory that the Renaissance Master used himself as the model for not one but two of the apostles seated with Jesus in his masterpiece the “Last Supper.”

As reported in the Daily Mail gleaned from the original source is that Dr. Ross King a noted Art Historian believes that Leonardo’s face is that of Thomas and James the lesser based on his long study of Leonardo’s art and eccentricities. One of which is the raised finger pointing skyward which is thought to be a hidden signature of Leonardo’s. The other is that the face of Thomas bears a striking resemblance to a red Chalk drawing of the master himself.

9) Leonardo was a procrastinator and many of his works were never finished.

Many of Leonardo’s famous works were in fact never finished. His famous Bronze Horse and Rider were never completed due to war and Leonardo’s cost over-runs. St. Jerome in the Wilderness was also never completed.

However one of the greatest of his achievements the “Virgin on The Rocks” was never completed and like the Mona Lisa the artist keep it with him until he died.

However, while many accuse Leonardo of being slow and a procrastinator, this writer believes he was much smarter than that. In the Renaissance, you live on the patronage of others. So, it behooved you to keep your client happy and yet stretch out the time to complete a project as you had money, room, and board and lived well as long as you were doing the patron’s bidding.

This today is being duplicated by many an independent contractor or consultant.

10) Leonardo was secretly a Heretic.

You only have to look through his writings and drawing to see that much of what Leonardo believed ran contra to the religious Tennant’s of the time. If his books were to have been made public, he might well have been burned at the stake along with all his papers and artwork.

This has also raised questions about his possible membership in the Rosicrucian Order and some even suggest he was a driving force behind it.

Today it is known that the order embraces Leonardo as one of its luminaries. Leonardo was also linked with the Illuminati and that has even been portrayed in books and movies as well.

But he did get away with a lot. He performed human dissections when it was a crime to do so and very harshly punished one at that. So, he was able to advance our knowledge in spite of the times and that in itself is the mark of one who embraces the Rosicrucian ideals and Illuminati creed.

You be the judge and see for yourself.

Final words

Leonardo Da Vinci was one of the greatest geniuses ever and his fertile mind was only con trained by the technology of the time. It is hoped by reading about this fascinating man you will be insured to look at the world as he did and who know you too might have your notebooks sold at Christie’s for $30 million dollars some day.

10 of Leonardo da Vinci’s Greatest Inventions

Leonardo da Vinci was the greatest inventive mind of the Renaissance. Not only was a master painter and sculptor he was a mechanical genius and we now know he could and probably did create automatons capable of simple actions that mimic the human in both form and function. Today, you will become acquainted with 10 of his greatest inventions.

Some of these have only seen the light of day in the last few years and further examination of the existing and known papers hint at even more marvels yet to be discovered.

When you have finished reading this article, you’ll be amazed at the breadth and width of his genius and perhaps there are even more surprises in store as more and more da Vinci materials are being unearthed.

Remember that the majority of da Vinci’s notebooks and papers have never been located and they may still waiting to be discovered in some forgotten corner of a used bookshop or forgotten library in Europe.

1) Helicopter

Properly speaking this would be called an “Air Screw” as it would be built using a screw shaped airfield to drive air downward and thereby creating lift. There is no record of his device being made. However, copies of his manned glider have been flown successfully. Both as models and as full sized versions as well.

2) Parachute

Along with his designs for gliders and ornithopters, he also designed equipment to escape or “bail out” of them and his parachute was the result. It was recreated in the year 200 and it worked as advertised. The daredevil who build and tested it landed safely and said that it gave a better ride down than conventional designs now in use. Again almost 500 years later da Vinci is vindicated.

This leads one to ask what are hidden in the many thousands of missing papers and notebooks still waiting to be rediscovered.

3) Diving Suit

While da Vinci is mostly noted for his studies of birds and his war inventions, he, however, was fascinated by water and all things connected with it. His underwater suits either used bladder filled with air or a bell that performed the same function. The unusual addition was a special mechanism to allow the divers to urinate while underwater allowing them to say down potential as long as needed. The suits may have been created as invaders that these suits were created to fight, by drilling holes in the attacking vessels hulls. The entire issue was rendered moot when the invaders were defeated by the Venetian navy.

4) Tank

General George Patton and Erwin Rommel the “Desert Fox” brought the concept of tank warfare to a high art. However, Leonardo Da Vinci foresaw the use of tanks and armored fighting vehicles. He even worked out the use of infantry supporting the vehicle as it made its way across the battlefield. This was done in 1487 over 450 years before America’s entry into World War II.

5) Machine Gun

During WW I, the Machine Gun became the king of the battlefield and even today most armies build their military strategies around the use of crew served weapons and the use of automated machine guns were created to protect forward firebases in Vietnam and even today high-security areas have more advanced variants of these weapons. As of this writing,  S.W.O.R.D. robots are being deployed to world trouble spots to test new generations of machine guns.

Da Vinci designed an 8-barrel machine gun of his own. However, the design was rejected as it was considered a cruel and dishonorable way to wage war.

Sadly, the world has changed its mind since then and weapons of area killing have become the rule rather than the exception.

6) Leonardo’s Robots

Found in a dusty corner of a library stuffed in with some old papers were some lost diagrams of what appeared to be a mechanical man. This created shockwaves worldwide, as after they were integrated with the scattered pieces of Leonardo’s other notebooks by an NASA Engineer was the mystery was finally solved. Later in Berlin, a fully working model was reconstructed. It could sit, stand, and even raise its visor with its hand, this lead credence to the many stories of Leonardo’s genius with all things mechanical. Since then many of his other automata have been duplicated and all are fully functional as described in the many surviving eyewitness documents. So, Isaac Asimov may have to step down as the father of robotics in history books of speculative fiction.

7) Ball Bearing

While this may not sound like much. However, the entire world would grind to a halt without this simple device. Germany’s war machine was stopped when the allies bombed their ball bearing plants as this integral part of virtually ever thing from cars, aircraft, and rocketry production ground to a halt. Leonardo thought the idea up between 1498 and 1500. If any had followed up on this or any of Leonardo’s other inventions where would we be now?!? But remember every thing Leonardo invented except for select items were kept a deep dark secret until many years after his death.

8) Viola Organista

Many are unaware that Leonardo was a consummate musician and some feel if he had not been apprenticed to Verrocchio he might have become a famous musical talent instead that of an artist. One of his more unusual musical instruments was his Viola Organista, which combine many instruments into one instrument, which could be considered the forerunner of the music synthesizer. A replica was constructed and played in concert in Poland in 2013. This again shows that Leonardo was not only just a painter but also a Polymath Artist who knew no limits for music, art, and science.

9) Leonardo’s Lion

With the discovery of Leonardo’s Robot sparked interest in other forms of Leonardo’s Automata one of the most interesting was his mechanical lion that walked wagged its tail and opened up to display the fleurs-de-lis of France at King Francois I’s pageant celebrating his coronation. The Lion Symbol of Florence and the flower symbolized France.

It was recreated 500 years later

This has opened up speculation about other of Da Vinci’s mechanical marvels such as flying birds and singing animals that once inhabited a menagerie, he supposedly created for his patron’s amusement were, in fact, real also. The lion was recreated in France in 2009 at the Château du Clos Lucé and PARC where Leonardo spent his last years of his life. This and his other inventions showed that Da Vinci could not only work wonders in science and the arts but also blend them together as well for the enjoyment of all.

10) Keeping Time

Leonardo also was fascinated with the concept of time and if one thinks of all the inventions he created, he himself could be the “Traveler” talked about in H.G. Wells book “The Time Machine.” Perhaps Wells had met Leonardo as he was passing through the 19th century and later was stranded in the 1500’s. Many people have speculated that Leonardo was a man out of place and could very well be a shipwrecked space traveler or Time Traveler. Some interesting speculative fiction stories have explored this concept.

However, Leonardo designed a timepiece that used two separate mechanisms, one for the hours and one for minutes that used an unusual and complicated system to get them to synchronize and work together. It might be noted that Leonardo’s clock was far beyond anything currently in use during the 15th century. It even rivals timepieces made today by the Swiss. It used diamonds and other minerals to allow the various gears and springs to move with almost no friction.

Parting thoughts

Leonardo was the definition of the Renaissance Man, an ideal that is almost forgotten in this age of specialization and pigeonholing of people. The clock is now a harsh taskmaster instead of an aid to help one keep track of time. Many of his inventions are now in common use and if you look at the results, they have wrought in today’s world. Perhaps he was wiser than we are, by hiding them for over 500 years. Look around you and decide for yourself if the world is a better place or not with all of the inventions that he created 500 years ago.