ST. LOUIS, MO. (KTVI) – Ryan Wilkinson had his eyes opened today.
'At first I just thought that he invented the Mona Lisa, that's all,' says nine year old Ryan Wilkinson. 'I'm amazed. He was really ahead of his time.'
Wilkinson was one of many walking through the DaVinci Machine's exhibit in downtown St. Louis today.
It's a hands-on experience to learn more about Leonardo DaVinci, the man of the millennium.
'Conceptually comes up with the helicopter that we use today, the parachute or even a hang glider and even parasailing,' says Paul Doneff the curator of the exhibit running now through the May at 800 Market Street.
While he's best known as the painter behind the Mona Lisa and the Last Supper, DaVinci dabbled in military machines and even robots.
'Here's Leonardo's version to do just that to signal those robotic troops so we wouldn't waste any human lives much like an unmanned drone today,' says Doneff demonstrating a machine. 'So he uses this to signal those troops.'
'DaVinci's devices are still as significant today as they were back then,' says Patrick Clark. 'So much so, that a certain Seattle billionaire had to get his hands on these blueprints.'
'DaVinci produces 40 plus thousand pages in his lifetime,' says Doneff. 'He compiled it in his manuscripts, compiled into what we refer to as codices, ten of them in existence around the world. Most of them are in Europe, there is one here in the United States with Bill Gates.'
The man behind Microsoft paid 30 million dollars in 1996 for some 500 year old documents that could unlock some centuries old designs for modern day life.
Who knows, an exhibit like this could inspire a future DaVinci.
'I kind of take a look around the house and I think, 'How can I change that into something better?'' says Wilkinson.
Sounds like the kind of thinking that could change the world...much like another
To find out more about display times, admission and location of the exhibit, click here.