September 17th, 2009


For those looking to wander and marvel at the mysteries of the world...

... but not spend a lot of money, I present this modest jacket from Cabela's:

Ranging in Price from $44.95 to $49.95, and in size from Small to 5XL, it seems just the thing for an adventurer looking for a finish garment that doesn't cost more than the rest of the outfit put together.

I don't own and haven't seen this item in person, so I can't vouch for its quality, but Cabela's is usually pretty good, the reviews are good, and well, for that price?

Looking for the 'Classics'

I just stumbled onto this community while Googling randomly.

I have always loved steampunk since before I knew of the word 'steampunk' I grew up with the H.G. Wells and Jules Verne works and am rather infatuated with the general Victorian era.

I have had a series of drawings in mind for more then a year now and although I won't be able to start on any for some time yet, being there are so many things needing my attention as of late, I was hoping for some references. I would like to find some good photo examples of very classic Victorian or even some Edwardian style clothing, all I've really been able to find are either costumes, modernized 'steampunk' styles, Goth infused or the old fashion plates. All of which are very lovely but I want to start with some good solid basics. I'm looking for photographs with good visible details of all the English Victorian walks of life and professions, particularly men's fashions which seem to be the most difficult to find in non-modernized or stereotyped costumes. I want solid examples the scope of verities of clothing worn at the times. The drawings I have in mind are very mechanized and a lot of clockwork elements but I do want to start with a good grounding in reality before I start twisting things about. If anyone can offer any links I would greatly appreciate it.

New York Times article ".The New Antiquarians"

 Some well articulated thoughts on historical pastiche albeit  of a bourgie-boho sort.
 Beware, if this is not simply a misdiagnosed trend then the junk shops and antiques markets might become a tad more crowded for a season or two untill the "NEXT BIG THING" hits.

  I think steampunk is to this Neo-antiquarianism what late Symbolism was to Art Nouveau - both shared a similar motivation in their rejection of the ugliness of modern mass production but  produced rather different alternatives the merits of each we moderns could debate with the benifit of hindsight

Halloween 2007 B&W

nice-looking picture frame for your steampunk home

Here's a good-looking picture frame from Ikea for your steampunk home. It's quite large - so much so that you might have trouble finding a photo or picture big enough to fit. I walked by a trendy hair salon that had a wall full of these empty frames as decor. It was a nice effect. Even empty, this frame is striking. It's not cheap and it is made of hard plastic, but if you compare it to the cost of a hand-carved wooden one of similar size and complexity, it is a bargain.
Steam and Iron, Blood

The First Americans

As both history and popular culture remind us, when the European explorers "discovered" the Americas, they came upon a land already settled by indigenous peoples who had lived there for easily as long as Europeans had resided in Europe. Over time, the prevailing view of the Native Americans has shifted between the stereotypes of barbaric marauders and noble savages, with little focus being placed on the complex reality of the people in question. Native Americans as a group were certainly no more bloodthirsty than "The Europeans", but at the same time they still engaged in complex social interaction with one another; as with other cultures across the world, this involved both trade and warfare in various cases. In fact, it's somewhat problematic to talk about "The Native Americans" as a monolithic group given that such a title covers countless civilizations spread across two entire continents.

While popular culture often depicts Native Americans as technologically backward hunter-gatherers, the reality was far more complex. Numerous groups understood the advantages of the advanced technology being brought in by foreigners, and they adopted it where it proved useful. Often this involved weapons technology, but this could also encompass civilian tools and materials. In a steampunk context, this means that there is no reason that a Native American group or individual could not have access to the same advanced technology as a European; and given the interrelation between steampunk and historical speculation, there is no reason why a steampunk setting could not rewrite its background to allow sedentary Native Americans access to industrialization. In this same way, the groups that had already been colonized by the turn of the 19th century could easily be re-imagined in an industrial age context, either having retained their cultural distinctiveness in spite of colonization or having repelled the arriving Europeans outright. There is nothing that says you cannot have a 19th century steampunk Aztec, provided you are willing to explore how their empire survived into the 19th century and why they industrialized.

Finding a starting point for approaching "Native American steampunk" can be difficult for this very reason: the simple diversity of peoples and cultures that fit under that title. Many Native Americans groups had already been invaded, subdued and colonized by the time the steam age arrived (specifically, the best known civilizations of Mesoamerica and South America--the Aztecs, the Maya and the Inca--but also many of the peoples residing in North America's eastern regions), but still others retained their independence by the dawning of the 19th century (the various tribes in the "American West" are the most famous, but there were others such as the Seminole in the Florida region). Some Native Americans were nomadic, some sedentary; some were hunter-gatherers, while others were farmers or herders. Cultures, belief systems, languages, social systems and clothing styles all varied tremendously. Moreover, many Native American cultures represented highly organized unions, confederations or alliances between various groups (for example, the Iroquois were composed of several distinct groups bound together in a league of nations); the Native Americans also had their own expansionist empires, of which the Aztecs are the most famous.

The sheer diversity present among the Native Americans means that it is often easier to choose a region or group to focus on for a starting point, rather than tying to examine the Native Americans as a whole. Above all have fun with this, but be prepared to uncover a tremendous wealth of wonderful historical and cultural information if you begin looking into the subject of Native Americans and their potential place in a steampunk setting.

Regards, etc.,
-G. D. Falksen

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Inspiration required.

Summer is ending, I just finished the last(?) Otherworld book, and I require new reading material. Again. *sigh* Having recently discovered Steampunk culture from a fashion angle, I'm excited to explore further. It would seem that steampunk, unlike many other cultural subgenres with that suffix, finds its inspiration in literature rather than music. So, tell me, what are your favorite steampunk must-reads? And don't just throw Wells and Verne at me, if you please! I'm looking for fresher meat....;)
  • Current Music
    Wolf Parade, Apologies to The Queen Mary

Victorian Cartes-de-Visites

Another great source for images and ideas :

(may be found here - )

Victorian Cartes-de-Visite – Robin & Carol Wichard


“The introduction of the cartes-de-visite in 1854 brought affordable portrait photography into the homes of ordinary people for the first time.”


            Starting with a brief (if maybe not brief enough) history of photography, VCV is most useful for the many fine examples of cartes from the authors’ collection.


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