Around 1505, Leonardo produced his Codex on the Flight of Birds, as well as plans for several flying machines, including a helicopter and a light hang glider. Most were impractical, like his aerial screw helicopter design that could not provide lift. However, the hang glider, above, has been successfully constructed and demonstrated. Courtesy photo
By LAUREN VINCENT
• Daily Leader
A chronic procrastinator, known to have had many disastrous failures in experimenting with new techniques, is quoted as having said the following:
“I have wasted my hours.”
“I have offended God and mankind because my work didn’t reach the quality it should have.”
Sixteenth-century Italian Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci, historically known as Leonardo da Vinci, who may have felt as though his life was not lived to its potential. In retrospect, however, his self-depreciating statements seem almost laughable. Da Vinci’s many accomplishments including architecture, painting, writing, science, math and engineering, herald him as the most diversely talented man in history.
As such his inventions offered much to the people he felt he had failed. Though many of da Vinci’s designs would not see their development and daily usage until hundreds of years after his death, most of his existing work is now on display in museums around the world.
Stauth Memorial Museum in Montezuma is currently hosting an exhibit featuring several of da Vinci’s designs. The Inventions of Leonardo da Vinci exhibit, toured by Exhibitions Alliance, has been on display at Stauth since May 9 and will continue through Sunday, June 27.
“It is Leonardo’s scientific and technical drawings that have captured imaginations for centuries,” ‘said Brad Bergkamp, Stauth Memorial Museum’s Assistant Director and Education Coordinator. “It focuses on 16 drawings through reproducing Leonardo’s drawings on graphic panels.”
This exhibit was originally compiled by technicians from the IBM corporation and was last on display at National Science Center’s Fort Discovery in Augusta, Ga. in 2008.
“IBM took his drawings from 500 years ago and replicated them,” Bergkamp said. “We have things like the armored tank, a helicopter and an odometer. There are 16 models with four being interactive. Each model has its drawing behind it on the stand.”
“I like the tank personally, but it is not hands on,” Bergkamp said. “There is a paddle wheel ship that you can interact with, along with the odometer. It is amazing how he came up with that.”
Along with the military tank, helicopter, odometer and paddle wheel ship, the display also brags a flying machine, parachute, printing press, inclinometer, hygrometer, anemometer, measurement of the Earth’s radius, roller bearings, variable speed drive, hydraulic screw, spring driven car and double hull ship.
American computer scientist Alan Kay is known as saying, “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.”
Thankfully, Leonardo da Vinci predicted one impressive present for those living in his future.