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The Dreams of an Inventor in 1420 (2018) (publicdomainreview.org)
50 points by 80mph 53 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 4 comments

Death star, complete with trench, with starfighters fleeing as it explodes. He was indeed visionary :)

I enjoyed that. Fascinating drawings

Many of these seem to describe performances or theatrical props.

>They use some of the forces and themes mentioned above — hydraulics, fire, and flexible or interlocking parts. But because cross section and other visual techniques such as perspective were not used by (and likely not known to) Fontana and perhaps also because his imagination exceeded his skills, what he meant to make and how he thought it was to be done remain something of a mystery. His captions, written in code, do not help much because they describe the function he intended them to perform rather than explain how they were actually constructed or operated.

Is it just me or does the code script or alphabet look a lot like the Voynuch manuscript? Could the Voyneuch manuscript have been based on this book?








Perhaps theater groups needed books to describe their ideas, performance, perhaps even dialogues, but wanted to simultaneously protect them to prevent them from being copied? If they traveled a large part of the year and never stay put it is hard to prevent others from copying you, but witnessing a single long immensely decorated show would be too much information to copy, so one just needed to protect the knowledge (which might need to be written down, in case an actor or theatre engineer dies,...?)

VM is full of naked ladies in vats and pipes of water, which I never understood but this article explains:

>In addition to his fiery constructions, Fontana also designed many fountains and other hydraulic devices. Before modern water infrastructure, water sources were more visible in people’s lives than they are now. The importance of water and the fragility of its supply were not hidden by massive administrative schemes. Water was life, and it was danger, too.

so perhaps the VM is also about theatrical performances for the church or the elites? ("Your tithes at work.")

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