THE REALISTIC ROOTS OF STEAMPUNK

Many of you know our passion for things odd and unusual. That’s probably why we write steampunk romance. But what you may not know is that many of those wild and crazy things are really just tweaks of actual inventions that, for one reason or another, never really took off. Steampunk enthusiasts simply re- imagine them  – usually occurring a bit before their time – and as successes. It’s a romantic notion but, it also credits those intrepid visionaries whose dreams went down a blind alley.

Who wouldn’t thrill at the sight of an airship that dwarfs event he largest modern aircraft, making its stately way across the skies? Giant_Aircraft_ComparisonAnd, admit it, wouldn’t you love to have the ego strength (or the excuse of fashion) to wear a top hat adorned with a really natty pair of brass aviator’s goggles? Talk about making a statement!

Anyway, today’s rant is about something that will be finding its way into our latest novel, Mansfield Punk. Fanny, our heroine is going to build and ride a powered monocycle. Hers, of course, will have a kerosene boiler and small steam engine on it but, in our imaginations, it looks a lot like some of these.

Be certain to watch the video of the intrepid monocyclist in Paris. He not only has a cool ride, but a real sense of savoir faire! Enjoy!

The D'harlingue monocycle circa 1917.

The D’harlingue monocycle circa 1917.

Professor E.J. Christie's 1923 version. He was from Ohio, the home of those other visionaries, the Wright brothers.

Professor E.J. Christie’s 1923 version. He was from Ohio, the home of those other visionaries, the Wright brothers.

Mr. Gerdes' monocycle on a tour through pre-Franco Spain. (circa 1931)

Mr. Gerdes’ monocycle on a tour through pre-Franco Spain. (circa 1931)

Walter Nilsson built this beauty in his back yard in 1935 Los Angeles. Great comparison against that other innovation, the pennyfarthing which appears so delightfully in Mark Hodder's Spring Heeled Jack.

Walter Nilsson built this beauty in his back yard in 1935 Los Angeles. Great comparison against that other innovation, the pennyfarthing which appears so delightfully in Mark Hodder’s Spring Heeled Jack.

 

Hindenburg comparison graphic courtesy of Wikipedia.com

all monocycle images courtesy of Wired magazine

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