Museum of Perpetual Motion Machines


and other Engineering Inventions

Levers and Linkages


A link is defined as a rigid body having two or more pairing elements which connect it to other bodies for the purpose of transmitting force or motion . In every machine, at least one link either occupies a fixed position relative to the earth or carries the machine as a whole along with it during motion.


mus1 A catapult is a device used to throw or hurl a projectile a great distance without the aid of explosive devices. Although the catapult has been used since ancient times, it has proven to be one of the most effective mechanisms during warfare. Catapults were invented by the ancient Greeks. The word ‘Catapult’ comes from the two Greek words “kata” (downward) and “pultos” (a small circular battle shield). Katapultos was then taken to mean “shield piercer”. Our module on designing and engineering Medieval Catapults was developed for classroom use. It’s an excellent project for grade levels 6 and up. The catapults can be incorporated into science and history classes to discuss simple machines like levers, ratchet wheels and shafts. It also provides a good opportunity to speak about efficiency, kinetic and potential energy and aerodynamics. And, of course, we are going to.


mus2 Throughout history, the supply of water for drinking, domestic, irrigation and industrial purposes has always been a vital consideration in all countries. The problem has always consisted of finding effective means of raising water from its source. Comparing evidence from the surviving remains with known examples of ancient engineering – and supporting these theories with modern engineering principles experts were able to reconstruct a unique machine, which in its original form would have been capable of raising water. Several ideas of great Italian military Engineer Agostino Ramelli are presented in this collection. We offer an extremely interesting presentation using a real water. On the picture you can see “Jantu”. This machine was invented in India at the very Ancient Time. You cannot miss it!  


mus3   What is a rolling ball device? A rolling ball device may be defined as a mechanism or group of mechanisms, for the sake of art or utility, which uses the action of a ball or balls moving in either a constrained or unconstrained path to actuate the various effects of the mechanisms. Rolling ball machines can be serious or playful, artistic or scientific, the product of engineering or the result of tinkering. No sooner does one list a taxonomy of all rolling ball devices when someone comes up with a new type.  


construction collage

Did you think everything in the Middle Ages was done painstakingly by hands? Think again! How did those huge blocks of stone get to the top of the cathedral? Machine Power! These were not gas or electric powered engines, but rather construction machines were powered by water, by air, by animals, or even by Men running in their own wheels!


vinci collage.jpg Leonardo has often been described as the archetype of the “Renaissance man” or universal genius, a man whose seemingly infinite curiosity was equaled only by his powers of invention. As an engineer, Leonardo conceived ideas vastly ahead of his own time, conceptualizing a helicopter, a tank, concentrated solar power, a calculator, and the double hull.

The medieval and Renaissance periods in Europe span the time from approximately AD 500 to AD 1600. Life in medieval Europe has often been characterized as the “dark ages”, which gives the impression that there were no advances in technology or engineering. In some aspects, this characterization is correct. For example, the elaborate water works created by the Romans to supply their cities with potable water were not duplicated in medieval European cities. Neither were sanitary sewers. Thus, waterborne disease was a recurring problem in many of these cities. However, in other aspects this characterization is not correct. Several important engineering concepts and techniques were developed during this time which laid the foundation for rapid technological advance during the Industrial Revolution. Engineers developed techniques for constructing astounding buildings, including cathedrals and castles. Engineers also improved the designs of ships, making European exploration of the rest of the world possible. The development of the printing press and associated type technology, as well as the development of linear perspective and engineering drawing techniques, enabled literacy and communication of information.


This elegant wooden model (above), dating from about the late eighteenth century, illustrates a mechanical system that can be used to activate four hydraulic pumps with a single moving axis and powered by an animal.

The Ancient Egyptians frequently experimented with ramps, levers and various types of stone used in the construction of pyramids. During the Middle Ages, people designed the drawbridge and catapult. In World War II, engineers created the stealth submarine and radar systems. We now live in a high technology society and it is vital that we increase interest in engineering and general sciences abroad. To do this, we need to inspire the youth of today so that they may become the scientists and engineers of tomorrow. Visual Education Project is designed to attract high school students, their parents and teachers to the world of engineering and technology. We offer hands-on lessons with science mentors to enhance learning processes, excite students and stimulate their interest in mechanical engineering.