“…Motion is the cause of every life…”
What do the Humvee, Tour de France, ball bearings and olive oil have in common? They all can be traced back to Leonardo da Vinci, the most remarkable and versatile inventor to ever live. Famous for Mona Lisa, The Last Supper and the Vitruvian Man, Leonardo’s genius creations have influenced the progress of many industries from military to construction, from aeronautics to medicine from astronomy to household appliances.
Finally the internationally acclaimed “Leonardo da Vinci: Machines in Motion” exhibit made it to SC State Museum downtown Columbia! Now you can “play” with 40 of Leonardo’s fascinating inventions, reconstructed based on his original sketches and instructions and using only 15th century materials and tools.
Machine in Motion highlights:
• Military: World’s first armored tanked manually operated from inside by 8 men…it took 4 centuries to see live action during WWI. Although this time was operated by combustion engine it functioned just as Leonardo predicted. Other “firsts” on display: the machine gun and the iron shells “spitting” and trajectory controlling bombardier.
• Flying: World’s first helicopter - the Ornithopter - powered by a man moving his arms, legs and head!…according to Leonardo “the head of this individual generates a force equal to 200 pounds”. Equally amazing the Italian also invented the parachute, an air flow measurement device and even flying props for theaters…
• Construction: ball bearings, logs cutting, metal sheet rolling and weight locking devices.
• Every day life: olive oil making and printing machine, diving suit (his intention was to help soldiers walk on water!) and the bicycle.
Things to know before you go:
• This is a very engaging interactive exhibit the entire family can enjoy together. Most of the machines on display are fully functional. It’s really fun trying to figure out first what each machine does and then how to operate it properly.
• Make sure to watch the video about Leonardo’s life. It’s an eye-opening easy to follow documentary that reveals how life and political circumstances have influenced his work.
• While everyone has a great time “playing” with the machines, grown-ups will appreciate Leonardo’s sketches, quotes and thought-process behind each creation.
• The exhibit will run until January 4, 2009. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children 3-12 and is on top of the museum admission price ($5 adults, and respectively $4 children). Good news, with this combo ticket you also get to see the Hollywood Comes to South Carolina exhibit.
Until you can make it to the exhibit live here is a virtual tour of what you can expect.
Need ideas on where else you can have lots of fun with the kids? Check this compilation of great family activities in and around Columbia, grouped by price for your convenience.
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