Leonardo da Vinci, the son of an Italian lawyer from Vinci, Italy, is most well know as an artist and the painter of the famous Mona Lisa. The 1452 born painter however, was also a sculptor, an architect, an engineer, a scientist and an inventor.
Aside from his more usual inventions such as the anemometer, a device for measuring wind speed, da Vinci also had some unusual designs. For example, he designed plans for floating snowshoes, a flying ship, an armored car and a diving bell to attack ships from below.
Although his ideas and designs must have been received with disbelief during his time, Leonardo da Vinci was the first to conceive and conceptualize some of the inventions that we use today. Da Vinci's design for an armored car, for example, was a metal plated, heavily-armed vehicle that could move in all directions. It was basically the predecessor of the modern war tank. And his aerial screw, a whirling flying machine, may be considered the predecessor of the modern helicopter. Even though some of his unusual designs, like the floating snowshoes that walk on water, never saw the light of day, da Vinci deserves all credit for the visionary inventor that he was.
More about Leonardo da Vinci:
- The Mona Lisa is believed to be the portrait of Lisa Gherardini, wife of a merchant from Florence, painted between 1503 and 1506.
- Leonardo da Vinci's "Vitruvian Man" is a drawing depicting the human body.
- Leonardo da Vinci died in 1519 and was buried in the Chapel of Saint Hubert at Château Royal d'Amboise in France.