Top 15 Steampunk Gadgets
What is a Steampunk gadget?
The Steampunk gadget can be a modern piece of technology most commonly with functionality for example a mobile phone or usb stick modified to look Victorian with some 1800s flare or ‘Steampunked’ whether colour, material, motif etc or a genuine Victorian era device that has been unchanged since that time like the pocket watch or compass. The gadget is not limited to real working technology but can also be a fantasy object that would be functional or complex if real like a Cosplay ray gun or time machine.
Common elements of Steampunk gadgets are bronze and copper as well as moving cogs and gears to represent the industrial revolution and advances at that time like the locomotive that being one of the biggest Steampunk gadgets to real life.
Natural materials make a big feature as they were available to even the lowly street urchin in small amounts. You will not find plastics in Victorian item’s for the obvious reason they had not been widely used a rule of thumb is no plastic unless your just Steampunking a modern piece.
You can find your own gadgets from say a Victorian auction or thrift market including a pocket watch, make them your self with your own two hands by adding upcycled parts like clock cogs to a modern item plastic or not a tradition of the Steampunk fashion in Cosplay or buy from a professional designer.
There are numerous Steampunk gadgets for the Steampunk gentleman and they usually can be found hanging from their leather harness belt beside their trusty wrench and pocket watch or in this article so lets have a look.
The pocket watch has to be one of the defining items of a Steampunk gent it represents the cutting edge technology of the Victorian era and is one item you have to do very little with in terms of adding though you can if you want to. It has great functionality, where would we be without time? originally designed for railway operatives to keep time of train arrivals it turned into more of a fashion statement. The most fitting pocket watches are mechanical or skeleton, mechanical meaning it can be self wound and skeleton means its ticking cogs and gears are open and visible for admiration. Antique pocket watches work for Steampunk or you you can have a modern pocket watch with a popular motif like the octupus or locomotive on it to bring it into the aesthetic of the genre. wood materials, nod to time machine
USB memory stick
You can not really find anything more day to day functional technology in the 20th century than a usb stick and they make great Steampunk jewelry pieces due to their small size. These gadgets can hold great importance to the user depending on the importance of the documents stored within. A adventurous gent always has something important to protect on his usb stick that need’s be close to hand. If you want it on show turn it into a necklace with a chain or more secret turn them into cufflink’s the design of the memory stick means they have two plain sides that look great with a Steampunk motif for example a octopus or just cogs and gears on a brown gold background. The opportunity for customization is great and there are lots of pictures online to draw inspiration from including actual videos on how to Steampunk them from scratch using craft materials.
Cufflinks watch movement
These are less gadgets and more tributes to very popular gadgets the wrist / pocket watch. At the time of pocket watches they were cutting edge technology and particularly beautiful was the internal workings the cogs and gears that made the watch tick.You could even go as far to say they are a ode to the novel ‘H. G. Wells The Time Machine’ that is a more subtle representation to a more die hard Steampunk fan and something they would love to bring up in conversation when explaining the cufflinks. What better way to remember the technology and gadgets of the industrial revolution than to put it on display somewhere on show all day?
Steampunk mini robot helper – Fantasy
A Steampunk robot is a small, about knee high, steam powered automaton and usually made of copper or bronze which is a tough metal and has many moving cogs and gears.
He has a clever yet clunky demeanor If you ever wanted a little friend to help you on your adventures, you can give him jobs, talk with him, teach him to do chores, arm him with a sound wave gun, decorate him in Steampunk motifs and charms just about anything.
To make this for your cosplay there are lot of small robot models out there if you do a Google search, just buy one and Steampunk it !
A keyboard at one time seemed very out of place but in this modern day has become very mundane and ordinary. For a Steampunk fan technology should be adorned and celebrated with enough customization as possible so they can stay immersed in the aesthetic at all times. Any chance to make their world a little more Steampunk is improtant things that they use frequently or have on their person are an easy choice to focus all their efforts on Steampunking. The keyboard being sat in front of you all day is one for sure. You can add type writer buttons, a Steampunk mouse, Nix lights, paint it gold or brown, patterns round the edges, piping, gramophone and improvise.
There are even modern type writers that can connect via usb to a laptop or pc for those who can not do without the nostalga and to who that little extra bit of effort to feel more Steampunk is worth it..
Steampunk Retrofied mobile phone
Are mobiles are all becoming more important and part of us as time goes on and they evolve. Someone said we are cyborgs already, and if Steampunk is close to your heart then certainly your mobile phone should be Steampunked. The retrofied mobile phone which is basically adding features to he mobile that take it back to the Victorian era making it look like it would be in those times if it had been originally made then. This includes typewriter button keys, a magnifying glass on the camera lens, valve displays, piping, cogs and gears, nuts and bolts, mini amplifiers and mini gramophone speakers what ever catches your fancy that fits the 1800’s aesthetic. And why not download some great Steampunk game apps to play with my favorite being Steampunk Tower, Forgotten Anne, Escape Machine City on your mobile when you are kicking back from your Steampunking phone mission.
Steampunk watch Industrialized Chronographs
Wrist watches are the modern contemporary versions of pocket watches and though pocket watches are essentially the classic Steampunk time piece as they are born in the heart of the industrial revolution wrist a piece of pure nostalgic watches are popular too and considered current Steampunk gadgets.
Steampunk wrist watches tend to have features that make them stand out mainly being mechanical self winding and having a skeleton case showing the cogs and gears. They are commonly mounted on a leather bracelet, having a multiple chronograph display, maybe even sporting a compass or sun dial.
They are by far more of a useful gadget showing the time, having alarms, calendar date even being waterproof and more convenient being on your wrist though less classic and traditional than a pocket watch to the fashion.
Jet pack – Fantasy
If you want to get somewhere quick a jet pack is definitely the appropriate gadget. The jet pack is quite big for a gadget as gadgets go they should be about pocket size. They look particularly good on a Cosplay outfit often for the ladies they are fashioned to look like angel wings rather than a bulky backpack which is more for the gents. They pop up alot in Steampunk mobile phone games check out ‘Rocket rodents’ that is a popular one if you want a play.
Steampunk petrol lighter
Let there be fire, the simplest gadgets can be the most essential when that cigar in your waistcoat pocket needs smoking, when the flame in your hot air balloon ship needs kick starting or when you need to light a fire on a cold post apocalyptic night in a war torn desert setting you need a Steampunked petrol lighter.Survival is key on any adventure,
The petrol lighter gives the space for a little customization on its metal sides so go wild with motifs and inject some Victorian era flare in its design so it deserves to be a part of your Cosplay and looks the part.
Steampunk ray gun – Fantasy
A raygun is a science-fiction directed-energy weapon that releases energy, with massive destructive effect. They have alternate names in Steampunk slang including: ray gun, death ray, beam gun, blaster, laser gun, laser pistol, phaser, zap gun, etc.
Though obviously being a fantasy gadget most appropriately accompanying your Cosplay outfit it does make the list because we are including some of the best fantasy gadgets that pop up in the novels, games and films.
It is a Steampunk rite of passage to make your own ray gun for your outfit, it is common top buy your favorite plastic toy gun and Steampunk it with craft paint and jewelry also making it from scratch using a washing up liquid bottle and adding, there are plenty of how to videos on Youtube so get making with those hands off yours.
Time machine arm control – Fantasy
Being one of the most powerful fantasy gadgets, what can beat being able to change the flow of time to your own benefit. Fitting conveniently on your arm for comfort and security simply put in the dates and your away. A tribute to ‘H.G. Wells The Time Machine’ one of the most popular Steampunk novels and writers. Take the time to look online and you will find plenty of examples.
Steampunk game controller
Gaming is very popular in the modern day and the games you play are very much a expression and part of your self like what you wear and to show where your obsession lies, Steampunk it. Go mad paint it brown with gold highlights, add a valve gauge, cogs and gears, classic type writer buttons, add the picture of a favorite Steampunk avatar.
A handy item that we use alot that can say alot about who you are and what you love. Find a refillable pen that you are not going to throw away after a days use and go to town Steampunking it, it is a great conversation starter and something to remind you that at the end of the day you have Steampunk to go home to.
Are you a gardener with a taste for Steampunk the terrarium is the perfect blend of Victorian era science and whimsy. It was invented in the early 19th century by Dr. Nathaniel Ward who was a British physician with a passion for natural history. He noticed that some ferns that failed to grow in his London garden were sprouting quite happily in some sealed jars of soil samples collected from the countryside. Because of the London air filled with pollution the plants did not grow, he decided to put the plants that did not grow in to terrariums so they were protected. The plants grew wonderfully.
A compass in a adventurers pocket is one of the most important things, being lost in a Dystopian world can bring about its own perils. It has connections to ’10’000 leagues under the sea’ and refers to ‘Captain Nemo’ himself who used one to navigate the seas. Compasses are often honored and made into jewelry by Steampunk gents so they are always on display, when you have a compass it stands for never being lost in mind, body, soul and in the world where many others lack a moral compass at all, that needs to be remembered.