Online Exhibits > Leonardo and the Engineers of the Renaissance > Models

Two-wheel hoist

Dimensions: 180x220x102 cm
Materials: chestnut, oak, plexiglas, metal
Constructor: SARI e FA-MA, Firenze
Date: 1987

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Working model after Leonardo da Vinci, Codex Atlanticus (BAM), fol. 30v

In this working model, the two wheels are encased in Plexiglas panels through which one can observe the machine's complex operating mechanism. The driving lever moves back and forth, activating the horizontal square-section beam. A pinion fastened to one end of the beam meshes with the two wheels. Each wheel carries a pawl on its outer rim. The pawls mesh with the teeth of the wheels' inner rims only when the right wheel rotates counterclockwise or the left wheel clockwise. This arrangement ensures each wheel in turn will keep driving the pinion in the same direction, thus lifting the weight attached to the shaft. The model vividly illustrates Leonardo's vision of machines as an assembly of many elementary mechanisms.

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