DID YOU KNOW?
A Fifteenth-Century Ventilator
In addition to being an artist, Leonardo da Vinci was an inventor. He designed a ventilator for the palace of the Duke of Milan. The ventilator was a huge wheel turned by waterpower. Valves that opened and closed automatically drew air into the drum of the wheel, where it was cooled by water. Air pressure generated by the wheel (which acted like a giant fan) forced the cooled air into a hollow shaft, which was connected to the palace by pipes. This giant ventilator, a full story in height, cooled a single room in the palace: The bedroom of the Duke’s wife.