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Agostino Ramelli, Italian engineer and inventor, 1588.

Agostino Ramelli, Italian engineer and inventor, 1588.
4 0 c m
actual image size: 22cm x 32cm


Partly hand-coloured frontispiece portrait of Agostino Ramelli (1531-c 1600) aged 57, from his 'Le diverse et artificiose machine' (The various and ingenious machines), published in Paris in 1588. Ramelli served as an engineer under the Duke of Anjou and later under Henry III of France. The book has many excellently engraved copper-prints and was written in Italian and French. The prints mainly show machines for drawing water, agricultural and military purposes. A few of Ramelli's designs are linked with earlier engineers such as Hero of Alexandria. Not all of Ramelli's designs are practical, but the various types of gearing, roller-bearings, chain-transmision and other parts are still of much interest.

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© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library

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