What is Steampunk?

If you don’t know what Steampunk is, then you are missing out on something amazing! The description of Steampunk will vary from person to person and from website to website, but here is how I would classify it.

“Steampunk is a style and a movement that tries to imagine how people in the late 19th century would build current or even future technology using the tools, they had mostly been steamed, gears and simple and tesla like electricity.”

Steampunk is dripping with creativity; we see all the time how people from this era look forward and imagine what technology will look like and that is heavily influenced by the look, and feel of our current technology. If we rewind that process and think how people in the late 19th century would do the same we get some wildly creative inventions.

This is just how I think of Steampunk and there are a lot of elements that go into it. It normally starts with Victorian Era clothing as a base then you add on all your accessories. Most Steampunk creations consist of brass, blackened steal or iron, gears, and in some creations LEDs and electro luminescent wire.

There are few rules for Steampunk, and that leaves a lot of room for creativity, but there are some guidelines that I think must be followed to make it truly Steampunk.

Guideline 1: It should occur in the Victorian Era
The time period for Steampunk is somewhere in the mid to late 19th century Victorian Era, and it would be wise to not push past or go before this era.

Guideline 2: Technology should consist of steam; gears and limited simple electricity
think about the 19th century everything was clockwork, gears and steam. Electricity was not fully understood and in of itself seemed like magic. No one had any concepts of computers, circuitry or even a firm grasp on how really electricity worked. Devices of this area used these elements to create some fantastical inventions and in Steampunk, they actually work! Well not really but we can pretend right?

Guideline 3: It must occur in or around Victorian England
This is an odd guideline, and it can be flexible but most outfits are based on the Victorian England styles, why? Because they are so cool in of them self’s and of that, area are the most prominent. I have seen Steampunk cowboys and even Steampunk Samurai but to me, the Victorian England styles are what I think of when I think Steampunk.

Guideline 4: You need to have goggles.
This may sound like a joke, and I often say, “it’s not Steampunk without goggles” as a joke but there is some truth to it. One of the most common visual elements in the Steampunk universe is the overwhelming presence of goggles, and some of them are extremely elaborate. You can go without them, but I say why? They are so cool!

Steampunk is becoming more and more popular in the world and at conventions, I really enjoy it because it gives you some loose guidelines and within it, there is so much freedom to create! Steampunk fabricators are some of the most creative people finding objects and items and turning them on their head to create something you would not expect. Pluming and hardware stores become something supply stores, and you start to look at everything as what you can turn it in to rather than what it was originally meant for.

In short, I love Steampunk because it forces you to use the most valuable and fun part of the human mind’s imagination. Nothing is as it seems, and you are only limited by how creative you can be! I would advise you all to give Steampunk a look.

A good video to watch to help you understand Steampunk is a trailer for a documentary called “Vintage Tomorrow” See below. And Google’s image search is also a good way to learn about the feel and creativity of Steampunk.

I hope you give Steampunk a good look, and maybe you will fall in love with it as I have. I plan on posting some of my Steampunk projects on the project’s page as well.

The Fedora Nerd – Ben Crawford

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