Leonardo da Vinci

What does Leonardo da Vinci have to do with Montana and the Rocky Mountains?    Yeah I don’t have a clue either but they had a very impressive exhibit on many of his inventions and sketches built into wooden models at the Museum of the Rockies.

Leonardo da Vinci was a genius and seeing these in person is very cool.  He had way too many forward thinking ideas to attempt to construct and model them all and many just existed on paper and in his mind.  It makes one think what might have been had the potential of many of these been realized so far ahead of their time.


Life preserver

It is very cool to see this bridge in person, this invention was the first time I had ever heard of Leonardo da Vinci.  In 4th grade science class we had to come up with a way to construct a bridge without having access to the other side using minimal amount of materials (toothpicks).  This is the exact same design that I came up with and the teacher told us of how Leonardo invented my design for the military to solve the same problem.  In 15 or 20 years of teaching I was the first student to ever duplicate this design that she used as a teaching aid, so much potential.. I don’t know what happened 😉

Inside mechanisms to drive the first tank, complete with cannons.

First bicycle!

There were many machines designed to show how to convert one form of motion into another.  I was the most impressed with this one which converts to and fro motion into steady circular motion.  If you pull the lever it activates one of the cog gear sets, push the lever and it activates the other so the paddle wheel in the back always turns clockwise.  The gear set works like the opposite of a differential, ingenious.

The first Ball Bearing!  This guy was certainly ahead of his time.

This unwieldy wheel barrow like contraption is actually an odometer and will drop a marble or ball into the box when pushed so far as a way to count total distance like an odometer.   I would have really hated to work in road construction back then because even the 1 pound counter wheels that we had to use were annoying and this is 80 times heavier.  Yo newbie, go measure out the square footage of this parking lot we need to do today 😉

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