Fillipo Brunelleschi

The world’s first patent was arguably granted in 1421 to Filippo Brunelleschi (the architect of Brunelleschi’s Dome, one of the architectural treasures of Florence) for an improved method of transporting goods up and down the river Arno, in particular an enormous flat bottomed barge with paddle wheels and other smaller towing boats nicknamed ‘Il Badalone’ (‘The Monster’). On its first voyage in 1428, after covering about 40km (25 miles) the boat sank with its entire cargo of marble.

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