Multi-barrelled gun, late 15th century.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Page taken from the notebooks of Italian artist, engineer, scientist and inventor Leonardo Da Vinci (1452-1519). His drawings featured ideas such as a spinning wheel and a flying machine. He disected human bodies (which he used to produce accurate anatomical drawings), studied the properties of light and water and worked in Milan as an inspector of fortifications, and later in Florence as a military engineer. He had a wide knowledge and understanding far beyond his times of most of the sciences, including biology, anatomy, physiology, hydrodynamics, mechanics and aeronautics. His notebooks, written in mirror writing, contain original remarks on all of these.