Technological advances of the renaissance period

Written by rebecca schlofner
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Technological advances of the renaissance period
Sketches of a perpetual motion device drawn by Leonardo da Vinci would give way to future technological advancement. (Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images)

"Renaissance" means rebirth or revival. The Renaissance Period occurred at the end of the Middle Ages, beginning in the 14th century, with evidence that it began in Italy, and ending in the 17th century. This period also is sometimes referred to as the Elizabethan Era. After the Middle Ages, the literature of the Greeks and Romans were rediscovered, and inventors and explorers such as Christopher Columbus, Galileo and Leonardo da Vinci came into the spotlight. The world went from a period of little knowledge and simply living for the king, queen or church to a time of exploration and invention that has not been seen since.

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The Invention that Changed the World

With the reinvention of the printing press by Johann Gutenberg in the 1450s, communication changed, which directed course of history. The original technology came form China, but it wasn't until Gutenberg that the printing press came into being. Prior to this machine's introduction people would hand write each copy of a book, such as the Bible, or any communiqué. The moulds that Gutenberg put together allowed for the press to make several copies at a time. People became more informed, and this would later lead to more education and the cyber age of the 21st century.

Technological advances of the renaissance period
This tray of printing blocks would be similar to the moulds that Gutenberg invented for his printing press. (Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Tools and Construction Material

Many tools invented centuries ago in the Renaissance Era are still in use. The screwdriver, wrench and the cast iron pipe came from this time period. These tools allow better buildings and faster constructs.

Technological advances of the renaissance period
Among these tools are inventions from the Renaissance. (Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Fire Arms

As we waned away from the older model of weaponry, we moved toward the inventions of the rifle barrel and shotgun. Centuries old, these are now the primary choice of weaponry in any war, and they also are used for hunting and defence. This gave countries an opportunity to expand, to find more prey and for more wars to be won.

Technological advances of the renaissance period
Weaponry, such as the rifle barrel, comes from this era. (FPG/Retrofile/Getty Images)

Galileo Galilei

Galileo improved the telescope to allow more to be seen. His improvements allowed further discoveries that would eventually lead to the inventions of the Hubble Telescope and Space Shuttle. He was able to observe the night sky to come up with the Laws of Motion. Greenwich Mean Time, or GMT and Zulu, is a direct result of Galileo's work.

Technological advances of the renaissance period
Galileo Galilei invented and observed many advances during his lifetime. (Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Other Technology

In 1510 Peter Henlein invented the pocket watch while da Vinci gave us the horizontal water wheel. In 1565 Switzerland's Conrad Gesner was the first to document a pencil, so its creation is sometimes attributed to him. In 1590 the microscope was introduced by Hans and Zacharias Janssen. All of these advancements made way for further expansion in technology that has offered mankind a series of items to enrich lives.

Technological advances of the renaissance period
The flush toilet was invented by Sir John Harington in 1591. (Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images)

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