What do Frankenstein and many vivid early nineteenth-century artworks, including paintings by J.M.W. Turner, have in common? Supposedly, that would be the 1815 eruption of Indonesia’s Mount Tambora and its climactic repercussions.
The mid-19th century represents the dawn of modern tourism for Americans and Europeans, but the destinations to which Victorian era tourists flocked are a bit different from the hot spots of today.
In the annals of Victorian medical history, few foes receive as much bile as the corset, which physicians claimed contributed to miscarriages, cancer, and slow, crushing deaths. But while there are some health problems that can be linked to corsets, they aren't nearly the instruments of medical terror that they're…
With the 1908 volume of his treatise Le Corset, Dr. Ludovic O’Followell hoped to make clear the detrimental effects the then-current corset designs had on women's health. To that end, he took X-ray images of women in their binding underthings.
Here's a device to add to your steampunk fiction: the chatelaine, a popular accessory from the 19th century. Part practicality, part fashion accessory, the chatelaine was the perfect way for women on the go to carry all of their tools.
After the invention of daguerrotype, the memorializing habits of people have changed: they've chosen the cheap, higher quality photographs instead of expensive and not so lifelike paintings. Painting dead people was common for centuries, so it's no surprise that, in the Victorian Era, post-mortem photos also came…
Coal, steam, and human power helped bridge the gap between the machines that kicked off the industrial revolution and the advent of electricity and internal combustion engines, but in some places, man's best friend provided the power that kept machines moving.
As any steampunk will gleefully tell you, the Victorian era was a period of incredible discovery, where scientific breakthroughs occurred at an astonishing rate. Which was the perfect environment for a book like Scientific Amusements to be published - a hodgepodge of science, illusion, party tricks, naturalism, and…
What if the majesty of On Her Majesty's Secret Service was Queen Victoria? We might not have had the same type of Cold War gadgetry that made Ian Fleming's novels and the James Bond films, but the 19th century had its own brand of wonderful toys. Here are a handful of gadgets and tools the steampunk spy might want to…
As it turns out, the entirely imaginary Victorian Land Octopus makes an excellent pet. He's fiercely loyal, knows how to lace up a corset, is a master behind the sewing machine, and plays a mean game of hide and go seek. (The camouflage helps with that one.) Brian Kesinger's Otto and Victoria illustrations bring us…
We have a fascination with Victorian and Edwardian era scientific equipment, and these microscope slides are a perfect example of why. Each slide is housed in a gorgeous paper cover, framing the sample inside.
The Victorian Era may not have had its own version of the Darwin Awards, but thanks to the miracle of newspaper records, we can reflect on the bizarre deaths and disasters of yore. The blog The Baby Died collects morbid clippings from 100 years ago, featuring billiard ball, corset, and umbrella-related demises.
Back in Victorian England, they knew how to inflict macabre, terrible death. Case in point: a single mishap led to the death of 25 people and the poisoning of nearly 200 individuals in one night, after they all consumed arsenic-laced peppermint treats.
Upper class Victorians had a great affection for pets, from fashionable lap dogs to canaries, and even the occasional monkey. But Travis Louie envisions some far more fanciful companions for his proper gents and ladies, who keep squids and giant spiders as beloved family pets.
If superheroines found themselves fighting crime in the year 1887, would they trade in their spandex for corsets and petticoats? Artist Michael Dooney transports familiar females back to the Victorian era, and gives each one a new costume design.
Jess Fink's webcomic Chester 5000 XYV is a pornographic sexbot tale with a twist: a Victorian gentleman builds a robot to satisfy his sexually voracious wife, but wife and well-endowed automaton fall deeply (and, of course, passionately) in love.
Chet Phillips' illustrations have taken us to the steampunk Planet of the Apes and an alternate universe where Earth's greatest writers and artists are cats and dogs. His latest fantastical trading cards place familiar superheroes in the VIctorian era.
While steampunkers imagine that Edwardian technology could achieve improbable feats, Edwardians themselves often did the same. These turn of the century postcards depict a glorious future where phenomenal technologies are powered by electricity and steam.