The “Leonardo da Vinci: Machines in Motion” exhibit is a must see for all da Vinci lovers, engineering fanatics and anyone who is interested in seeing 15th century contraptions in action.
I have a been a da Vinci fanatic since I was young and I have always liked pulling things apart and putting them back together to see how they work. It’s incredible to see da Vinci’s inventions that were centuries before their time: the tank, the flying machine and even the first humanoid robot which he called C3PO.
There are two parts to this da Vinci exhibit, the first half can be found at the Discovery Science Place in Tyler and the second half at Tyler Junior College’s Center for Earth and Space.
By purchasing a da Vinci Plus ticket, which costs $17.79, you also get access to the both the exhibits at the Discovery Science Place and the Tyler Junior College’s Center for Earth & Space Science Education along with a dome movie. However the dome movie is not about da Vinci, but features whatever science movie is currently playing in the CESSE’s theatre.
The machines were built in tribute to da Vinci’s many sketches and inventions. They were built with materials that would have been available to da Vinci such as wood, rope and glue.
The inventions are separated into four sections, land, water, fire and air. His land and fire contraptions can be found at the Discovery Science Place Exhibit. And the water and air contraptions can be found at the TJC exhibit.
Each machine has a brief description of what it was designed to be and how it works.
Some of the sketches were only theoretical and never built by da Vinci himself, so the exhibits display how the machines might have been built had da Vinci built them.
The inventions at the Discovery Science Place are more interactive than those at TJC.
This is because patrons can’t test the flying ability of da Vinci’s air inventions or try out his water contraptions that would theoretically allow you to walk on water or swim fast like an underwater mammal with webbed feet. Most of his inventions are interactive, but a few such as the tank and his flying machine can only be viewed.
The exhibit, I believe should be a part of your to do list before summer is over.
It is a fascinating exhibit that I would love to see again. Definitely worth the cost.