My Steampunk Inquiry
Welcome ladies and gents, to this cesspool of a blog, today I’ll be writing about my steampunk inquiry question; Why did the world NOT evolve into a steampunk world?
Well first let’s answer the first question people ask when someone says the word “steampunk”. What is steampunk? According to google it is: “A genre of science fiction that has a historical setting and typically features steam-powered machinery rather than advanced technology.” I think that’s a great definition and the only thing I would add to it is the mention of the metals that you see used in steampunk fiction (e.g Gold, Bronze, and Silver).
Getting back to the main question, today I’ll be focusing on three main events/reasons that I think caused the worlds evolution in way that is NOT steampunk.
I think one of the biggest attributes of steampunk is the metals used within its apparel and machinery, those metals being Gold, Silver, and Bronze. Although there was a gold rush in Australia from 1851 to the late 1860’s (one source argued it didn’t really end until 1891) and the Victorian Mines Department reported that a total of 1,898,391 kg was mined, most of the gold was used to pay for Britain’s debts and it’s own industrial revolution. Gold was for the rich, so the gold mined during the Victorian Era was either used for currency or jewelry.
Silver was just frankly too expensive, according to commodityhq.com the price of silver was about 1.30(usd) per 1 oz of silver it stayed at that price until World War One where it rapidly decreased. The average wage in the Victorian era was 29 shillings a week, doing some simple conversions (20 shillings in a pound) that’s equal to about 1.86 USD a week meaning it would take a common mason one whole week to earn enough for just an oz of silver. Roughly the same goes for Bronze and Copper.
Probably the biggest reason our world doesn’t look like Leviathan is electricity more specifically the light bulb, invented in 1879 by Thomas Edison (or Nikola Tesla depending on who you ask) the world no longer only ran on steam. Thus steampunk no longer had a chance to exist, it just wasn’t that practical anymore, and that brings me into my final section.
Steampunk just isn’t all that practical, after electricity and other fossil fuels started to take over, the world didn’t need steam power as much as it used to. There was no need to make the machines out of gold silver or bronze, when there was steel. Even exposed gears aren’t are all that practical as it makes the machines more vulnerable to the elements, and workplace accidents. If we never discovered electricity the world probably would’ve gotten over polluted a long time ago and earth would could’ve been looking like venus by now.
Overall, steampunk is great as a literary genre but I think where we are now (technologically speaking) is a better world.