The TM had precursors (obviously). I'm starting to get a sense of the importance of particular manuscripts that contained technical motifs. Even Besson's work, for example, was originally a presentation manuscript.
There are other examples of these presentation manuscripts. The most important examples are probably the books of Taccola, di Georgio Martini, and--of course--Leonardo. But there are also any number of other works. I seem to remember that "Picturing Machines" discusses several. Another expert on the topic is Daniela Lamberini.
She has written a few articles that I should probably pull. While I'm sure her Italian scholarship is fantastic, I plan to stick with the more accessible English work:
2004(?) - Patents for machines in Grand Ducal Tuscany and the diffusion of technical knowledge in Europe, c. 1564-1640, in "Zeitsprünge, 8, (2004), Helf 3 / 4, "Tecknik", pp. 101-120.
2003 - "Machines in Perspective": Technical Drawings in Unpublished Treatises and Notebooks of the Italian Renaissance, in The Treatise on Perspective: Published and Unpublished, (edited by) L. Massey, Symposium Papers XXXVI, Center for Advanced Studies in the Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Yale University Press, New Haven - London, 2003, pp. 213-234.
* This article may have some details about the very mysterious engineering sketchbook that was in the Rosenwald collection.
1994 - Machines for Use on Building Sites, in The Renaissance from Brunelleschi to Michelangelo. the Rapresentation of Architecture, (edited by) H. Millon, V. Magnago Lampugnani, Exibition cat., National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., 18 dec. 1994-19 march 1995, Milano, Bonpiani, 1994, pp. 478-490.
1987 - Practice and Theory in Sixteenth Century Fortifications, in "FORT. The International Journal of Fortification and Military Architecture", Liverpool, vol. 15, 1987, pp. 5-20.
1986 - The Military Architecture of Giovanni Battista Belluzzi, in "FORT. The International Journal of Fortification and Military Architecture", Liverpool, vol. 14, (1986), pp. 5-1
1982 - Entry (voce) Belluzzi Giovanni Battista, in "Macmillan Encyclopedia of Architects", The Free Press, New York, London, vol. I, p. 174.
* Grove may also have a good entry. We'll see.