The pile driver was independently invented at various times and places in history to address the needs of specific construction projects. Pile drivers were probably used to build Scottish crannogs (communal dwellings built on wooden piles over water) as far back as 5000 years ago.
In Italy the Renaissance was a time of reconstruction and of new projects such as canals, ports, palaces and churches including St Peters Basilica in Rome, many of which needed structural pilings.
The hammer of da Vinci’s pile driver is raised using a hand operated winch and released automatically onto the pile below.
IMAGE: Pile driver Photo: zcw / Shutterstock.com