If Transformers came out in the 1800s, Bumblebee would become a velocipede, Megatron would turn into General Custer's mustache, and Optimus Prime would transform into a stately locomotive. Check out this anthracite-fueled Optimus by Encline Designs.

Also, the 19th-century version of Transformers would have to be a theatrical performance, fraught with an exploding set and hapless actors fleeing for their lives wearing nothing but painted turnip crates. Michael Bay would have to become a fireworks magnate just to fund a single performance, and Starscream would be played by a duplicitous cotton gin.

[Encline Designs via Rampaged Reality]