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What Are Steampunk Gadgets?

Steampunk Gadgets

Steampunk Gadgets

Steampunk art has steadily become more popular over the years and the gadgets that you may have read about in your favorite steampunk novels are now getting to be more and more available as artists become inspired by this genre.  Gadgets, machines, and devices imagined by Jules Verne and H.G. Wells have been recreated by steampunk enthusiasts while everyday items such as laptops and cell phones have been transformed into steampunk styled technology.

Modern Items Turned Steampunk

One of the most typical types of steampunk gadgets are common items steampunked into a fantastical reinvention.  Such items may include laptops, cell phones, lamps, clocks, vehicles, or furniture.  Really, nothing’s safe once you inspire a steampunk enthusiast.  Some items may be converted to the steampunk style because of their everyday functionality such as USB drives, keyboards, gaming systems, telephones, jewelry… the list goes on.  Other items, such as guitars, motorcycles, or coffee makers may be refitted with brass, leather, and wood because of the significance they hold to an individual’s passions or hobbies.

Recombobulated Steam-powered Doohickeys

Looking for steampunk items with a more whimsical design will lead you to the fantasy-driven, high-tech, turn-of-the-century whatchamacallits.  You’ll find everything from devices for communicating with the dead, to time machines, to doomsday devices.  Some of these things may be inventions found in popular steampunk books while others will be born purely from the imagination of the artist.  Of course, as a general rule, these state-of-the-art gadgets will be mostly non-functional and all those interesting knobs and levers will do nothing more that turn on a few flashy lights.  Although, even without serving a practical purpose, gadgets such as these can quite often be the most interesting pieces.


In the steampunk world, springs and clockworks have earned their own category.  Clock parts such as cogs, gears, hands, and dials have become so much more than simple timekeeping materials; their technology has been transformed to perform much more complex tasks.  While steampunk has reimagined history with steam-driven technology, clockpunk focuses more on winding keys and springs as a source to power the machinery of that world.  Gadgets inspired by this side of the steampunk genre will often contain much in the way of metallic cogs and gears and will boast many fine details.

Steampunk gadgets may come in all shapes and sizes and the idea of steam technology can be applied to pretty much anything your imagination can throw at you.  Some gadgets will be as simple as a modified pocket watch while others may be as extravagant Paul St. George’s Telectroscope art installation features in London and New York.  The installation was said to visually link the two cities via a transatlantic tunnel while in reality two video cameras were used to create a virtual tunnel.  While the piece can’t be said to have used authentic steam technology the concept was no less grand and the exhibit is quite definitely one of the most amazing steampunk works of all time.

Do you want to start creating your own Steampunk Gadgets?

Check Out This Amazing Guide:

Steampunk Gear, Gadgets, and Gizmos: A Maker’s Guide to Creating Modern Artifacts


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