The first known drawings of machines can be found in warfare-themed manuscripts. The oldest of them dates back to the 14th century, but their proliferation took place in the 15th century. During the century an almost standardised drawing style, vocabulary was developed, which also survived throughout the Renaissance.
Compared to the relatively high number of the survived warfare-related manuscripts which included drawings (their number is above 50), the representation of machines for civil usage is very rare throughout the century, even though the architectural drawings also proliferated during this century, and they also introduced a distinct representation style.
The survived portfolio of the Strasbourg master builder Hans Hammer lies at the intersection of this two disciplines: it includes both machine and architectural drawings in a large number. Given the occupation of the master, we can safely assume that in contrast to those found in the majority of the contemporary machine drawings, his machines served civil purposes.
During this conference lesson the following questions are discussed: how do Hans Hammer’s machine drawings fit in the corpus of the contemporary machine drawings both by drawing style and function; and with which manuscripts can a direct connection be made?