The notebooks of Da Vinci did not begin as a leisure activity, rather one out of necessity. While working in Milan for the Duke, Leonardo began writing in notebooks, so that he would become more valuable to the duke and to help supplement his income. This would soon become his obsession, as evident in their length and multitude. Leonardo’s notebooks were small enough to carry everywhere, much like a pocket notebook, allowing him to write when it pleased him. Today, it is speculated Leonardo made two piles for organizing his notes: “… the world of nature: animals and human beings,” and “… the man-made world: machines, fortifications, [and] inventions […].” The notes in these basic piles were the rough drafts before publishing, and he would often add to them when he gained new insight. Of course, this...
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...e rest of humanity could compete at the same level centuries later.
Potentially the most influential invention of Leonardo was his conception of the flying machine. Before the Wright brothers, Leonardo conceptualized a device capable of human flight, and “…was perhaps the first man to apply scientific principles to the problem of flight.” Da Vinci accomplished this by utilizing his knowledge in human anatomy and birds. The successful “spiral screw helicopter” of Sir George Cayley in 1843 bears a remarkable resemblance to the designs of Leonardo, who created them some three hundred years prior to Cayley. Had these sketches been constructed into prototypes and tested, there would have been a much more rapid improvement on flying machines. The inventions of Da Vinci would have given humanity a head start on the traditional timeline of progression that is known today.
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