"The Bombarda"

A model of Leonardo da Vinci's cannon machine.

More on da Vinci's works.

Leonardo da Vinci's inventions & sketch-books.

Leonardo da Vinci's sketch-book page showing how gears transfer motion from one direction to another.

Define a machine

literal – some implement or functionally operating device with moving parts

figurative – a well ordered system and a working relation among dependent, moving parts

machinery as related to automation


A static model of a machine's basic parts.

Gregory Bateson says all machines have four essential parts

1 fuel

2 ignition

3 flywheel

4 governor

macine model
A web site showing how different machinery operates.


The little engine that may well work --- today

An exercise for kids of all ages to understand connections. Divide the class into ten parts. Have each group move in a different way to exemplify these parts of a machine in motion.

10 roles of machinery:

Parts of the engine | motions

Fuel tank | sitting
fuel pump | pumping action
battery | hiss, clap and move in a jump
wires to rotor | stretch and turn
Spark Plugs | snap finger 0r clap hands
Piston | deep knee bends,

flywheel | move arms in a circle
throttle | bend at the waste
exhaust | run in place
Muffler | isometric exercise

Steam engine -- double acting:

Steam engine

Aircraft piston & power steering:

rollaircraft engine



atom bomb


Who was Leonardo da Vinci?


Overview of the class | Time line

Tools of Toil: what to read.
Tools are historical building blocks of technology.


Pursell | Pacey | Postman | Snow | Kaku | compare authors

Ancient technology | web of relations | site map | technology defined