Saturday, February 9, 2013

Steampunk Saturday, vol 6

Oh the wonderful art of flying contraptions.

When I was, oh about the same as my darling daughter is now(6 ish), my mother would read Chitty Chitty Bang Bang to me. Probably every night. It was my favorite story. It was also one, that after so long, I began to tell my mother stories I made up to go with the illustrations.

It's no wonder I fell in love with the world of steampunk! Within the wonderful pages from the spy master himself, Ian Fleming (no relation unfortunately), is the story of a family and their flying car.

Part of what draws me into the Victorian Steampunk world are the gadgets and machines.
For instance the dirigible.

There are so many beautiful artist renderings of one staple of the steampunk world, the airship or dirigible or zepplin. These airships, lighter than todays counterpart per se, stayed aloft using a large cavity like a balloon filled with some kind of lifting gas - like helium or authors' made up substances like Ether or in my story Akasha. They manuevered with rudders and propellers. Unlike the blimps of today, the steampunk version was like a floating ship with a balloon filled with floating gas attached or large propellers to keep the ship aloft.

Then there's the velocipede.

Towards the later end of the Victorian Era, an increase in leasure activites came about. In fact, the creation of some of our nation's most beloved parks came into existance in this time period. Like Central Park. As more and more middle class families enjoyed their weekends off from the daily work week grind, more and more activites became accessible. Riding bicycles quickly turned into not just a leisure activity but a sport. In San Francisco, velodromes were created to allow "scorchers" - or bicycles racers - a place to race each other or cycle laps. 

And finally, the steam coach or carriage.

A horseless, steam or ether or other energy source powered carriage or stagecoach. Think of it as the Victorian mini-van, able to haul anywhere from four to six people inside the carriage to neighborhood destinations, like a ball, or across the US to far off cities.

Finally, I leave you with this, in lieu of much speculation from Disney's purchase of the rights of the Star Wars Franchise.....