Steampunk: A brief history…

You may have seen Steampunk elements around and not been entirely sure of what you were looking at. Maybe you saw a person dressed up in goggles and a top hat covered in gears and thought it looked cool, but didn’t know more than the look may have been aesthetically pleasing to you. The style is heavily inspired by the steam powered machinery found in the 19th century. Many of the gadgets, outfits, and stories revolve around the idea of steam power being used to power the objects the way electricity is currently used. Instead of machines being plugged in, Steampunk crafters redesign common items imagining them being powered by alternative means.

The term “Steampunk” was coined in the 1980’s by a science fiction author named K. W. Jeter to describe his work. Other authors began working with the term and the word began to pick up steam, pun intended. For those familiar with the works of H.G. Wells or Jules Verne, both of those classic authors are often referenced as steampunk ideals. Before they even had the word, both wrote of fictional and fantastical machinery now common to the genre.

Steampunk is also an all encompassing term which can be narrowed to specific niches. When it comes to time periods and setting, steampunk can transcend limits. There is everything from Western influenced steampunk to post-apocalyptic. Although rooted in science fiction, steampunk has also crossed into both the horror and fantasy genres. Common elements uniting different aspects of steampunk involve using metals such as brass or iron. This helps give steampunk a certain “look” of being polished while still having a gritty edge to it.

Recently, there have been events popping up all across the globe to celebrate Steampunk. Events boast everything from steampunk musicians, vendors and artisans inspired by the era, different activities such as balls or facial hair competitions, to professionals trained in classic sword-work. Dark Follies is proud to join in the festivities at Watch City this coming weekend in Waltham, MA. This all day event returns filled with interactive activities and entertainment for the whole family. Dark Follies will be performing at Embassy Park at Noon, so brush off your top hat and come say “Hi”. More information can be found at



~ Madame Sinclair

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *