Steampunk, Technology Throw-Back

When it comes to technology you don’t always have to look to the future for inspiration. Over the past few decades, some innovators have been inspired by our past, creating a culture and lifestyle known as steampunk that’s why we considered this trend for Mindful Technology™.

The term “steampunk” first appeared during the 1980s, referencing a subgenre of science fiction literature. Of course, the ideas behind steampunk date further back than that. The trends focuses on “futuristic innovations” as Victorians (and, occasionally, American frontiers) may have envisioned them. It was is largely influenced by the nineteenth-century literary works of Arthur Conan Doyle, Mary Shelley, Jules Verne, and H.G. Wells.

In the steampunk literature there are many notary works that combine the Victorian era with fantasy elements

Alan Moore’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is considered the high-tech Justice League of Victorian England. Phillip Pullman’s The Golden Compass features a Victorian-like parallel universe. And Kim Newman’s Anno Dracula reimagines the Victorian British empire with vampires.

This trend is no longer limited to just literature. Fashion has taken center stage with specialty goggles, theatrical top hats, custom corsets and jewelry made from antique watch parts. There are inspired films like The Prestige, Howl’s Moving Castle, and Wild Wild West. This movement has fostered magazines like and fairs like the Steampunk World’s Fair in New Jersey or SteamCon in Washington.

There are fans that have taken a step further, building gadgets and sculptures for this imagined world. Artist, Jake von Slatt, has created many innovative pieces from the to a Steampunk Vacuum Tube Guitar Amp. Tom Sepe created a Steampunk Motorbike.

Dying to learn more about this blended trend of the antique and futuristic? Visit the Magazine website or the World’s Fair website