Leon Battista Alberti (1404 - 1472) from Genoa, Italy, is credited with inventing in 1450 the pressure plate anemometer for measuring wind speed. Like Da Vinci’s design it consisted of a flat plate suspended from the top so that the wind deflects it against a scale calibrated to represent wind speed.
Da Vinci’s anemometer is shaped like a harp, which may reflect his virtuosity as a musician.
William Henry Dines, London, England, developed the tube anemometer in 1892, an open-ended horizontal tube or head attached to a wind vane so that it always faces into the wind. The tube is connected by pipes to a chamber filled with water containing a float that moves in response to the wind pressure on the head.
The four-cup velocity anemometer was invented in 1845 by Dr John Thomas Romney Robinson at Armagh Observatory, Northern Ireland. It was modified to three cups in 1926 by Canadian John Patterson, and again in 1991 by Australian Derek Weston to measure direction as well as speed.
IMAGES: 3 cup anemometer Photo: Zsolt Biczo / Shutterstock.com