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SteamPunk and what it might mean to reenactors


Karl Helweg:
SteamPunk is a relatively recent name for an older idea of retrofuturism or science fiction through a Victorian's eyes.

One of the fun features of SteamPunk is that if you locked a dozen self described SteamPunks in a room and asked them to define what SteamPunk is you would receive approximately 64.1415 answers which would change five minutes later depending on how many decided to stay and continue the debate after they pick they pick the lock.

SteamPunk covers a very wide spectrum post apocalyptic wastelanders through some fairly hardcore Victorian era living history reenactors.  They might be wearing amusing thrift store finds or carrying beautiful antique jewelry, pocket watches, and weapons.

This fandom movement has no real organization or leadership even though a few folks have tried desperately to establish themselves as elite expert by authorship.  This vacuum may actually be attracting participants since it frees them to express themselves.  There are local groups, sometimes called "airships", that come together to help each other do more. 

As for what all is SteamPunk the list is long and includes things like: airships, octopi, corsets, pocket watches, time machines, games, goggles, vests, pirates, NERF guns, top hats, canes, wrenches, tesla coils, absinthe, cargo pants, etc.......  Like the old saying goes: "I can't tell you what all is SteamPunk but I know it when I see it."  SP has developed its own music, games, comics, and novels among other things.

So why would a reenactor want to go to a SP gathering?  Fun.  Escapism.  Not being "on stage" every minute like at a formal living history event but still being able to make use of your historical knowledge and collected gear.  There is not much of a place for authenticity police but organizers will have plenty to do.  Recruiting.

Karl Helweg:  A little on the SteamPunk/SASS crossovers.

Although most SteamPunk groups are on FaceBook these days there are some dedicated forums full of cached information like:

Karl Helweg:
An interesting take

Karl Helweg:

These are actual goggles recovered from the 1856 wreck of the SS ARABIA.   If you visit Kansas City I highly recommend visiting the museum.

Karl Helweg:
Some of you might be familiar with Raymond's Quiet Press for his castings and books but also check out his SteamPunk line:


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