A darker, but entertaining, glimpse into the past...

Monday, July 21, 2014 0 comments


While I commend this work to you, I also caution you that one must laugh loudly at it in polite "mixed" company if one wishes such polite company to continue its genial course cool

Note that we of this enlightened age do NOT hold such views and are thankful that you have been able to join us in advancing all of humanity along its future path together with us, as equal partners in its successes and failures. It is a good read if only to put such old views into perspective and to support the great enduring cry of...

You've come a long way baby!

Keep your sight glass full and your furnace trimmed.

Revolted Women
Past, Present and To Come

Charles G. harper

Elkin Mathews
Vigo Street


PDF File
Revolted Woman 1894

Woman is altogether different from and inferior
to man: narrow-chested, wide -hipped, ill-propor-
tioned, and endowed with a lesser quantity of brains
than the male sex. She will, when sufficiently open
to conviction, allow that, mentally, she is not so well
equipped as man, but gives herself away altogether
in insisting upon the ' instinct ' that takes the place
of reason in her sex ; thereby tacitly placing herself
on a level with other creatures—like the dog or
cat—who act upon ' instinct ' rather than upon
reasoning powers. ' A woman's reason ' is a no-
toriously inadequate mental process ; and, having
once arrived at a conviction or a determination on
any subject, it is of no use attempting to argue
her out of it. That is widely acknowledged by the
popular saying that ' it is useless to argue with a
woman '

' If she will, she will, and there's an end on't :
If she won't, she won't, depend on't.'


MODERN dress-reform crusades have ever
been allied with womanly revolts against
man's authority. They proceeded originally from
that fount of vulgarity, that never-failing source of
offence—America. In the United States, that in-
effable land of wooden nutmegs and timber hams, of
strange religions, of jerrymandering and unscrupu-
lous log-rollery, the Prophet Bloomer first arose,
and, discarding the feminine skirt, stood forth, un-
ashamed and blatant, in trousers ! The wrath of
the Bloomers (as the followers of the Prophet were
termed) was calculated to disestablish at once and
for ever the skirts and frocks, the gowns and
miscellaneous feminine fripperies, that had obtained
throughout the centuries ; and they conceived that
with the abolishment of skirts the long-sustained
supremacy of man was also to disappear, even as
the walls of Jericho fell before the trumpet-sound
of the Lord's own people. For these enthusiasts
were no cooing doves, but rather shrieking cats,
and they were both abusive and overweening.
No more should 'tempestuous petticoats' inspire
a Herrick to dainty verse, but the woman of the
immediate future should move majestically through
the wondering continents of the Old World and the
New with mannish strides in place of the feminine
mincing gait induced by clinging draperies.
It is not often, however, that women writers
present us with philosophical treatises in the guise
of novels. Their high-water mark of workmanship
is the Family Herald type of story-telling, even as
crystoleum-painting and macram6-work exhaust the
energies and imagination of the majority of women
' art ' workers. What, also, is to say of the lady-
novelists' heroes, of god-like grace and the mental
attributes of the complete prig ? What but that if
we collate the masculine characters of even the
better-known, and presumably less foolish, feminine
novels, we shall find woman's ideal in man to be
the sybaritic Guardsman, the loathly, languorous
Apollos who recline on ' divans,' smoke impossibly
fragrant cigarettes, gossip about their affaires du
cosur, and wave 'jewelled fingers'—repellent com-
binations of braggart, prig, and knight-errant, with
the thews and sinews of a Samson and the morals
of a mudlark.


Two Years Ago Today...


What a ride!

It was two years ago that I started this blog, as a place to share interesting Steampunk finds and as a place to archive my Steampunk musings.  With 294 posts and counting I hope to continue to find useful and entertaining info.

Thanks to everyone for your support, comments and suggestions!

Keep your sightglass full, your firebox trimmed and your water iced.

Mayhew's London 1861

Thursday, July 10, 2014 0 comments

Eye Witness

A fascinating eye witness description of the teeming multitudes that inhabited London in the Mid 19th C.
It was written, as a three volume work originally entitled London Labour and London Poor in 1851, the last edition was published in 1861, by Henry Mayhew a journalist, writer and social researcher.

My copy is one volume distillation of the 1861edition edited by Peter Quennell and first published in 1951. It is a hefty volume of 592 pages.

This book is a wonderful look at how London actually worked, that is to say how Londoner's worked. London in the mid 19thC was a city of several million people, many of whom had no fixed abode. To feed, clothe and entertain such a multitude required enormous labour and ingenuity.

Illustrated with black and white drawings that capture the gritty essence of life beneath the glitter and power of the chief city of the empire, this book is a wealth of information on a vanished way of life.

From Wikipedia

Mayhew went into deep, almost pedantic detail concerning the trades, habits, religion and domestic arrangements of the thousands of people working the streets of the city. Much of the material comprises detailed interviews in which people candidly describe their lives and work: for instance, Jack Black talks about his job as "rat and mole destroyer to Her Majesty", remaining in good humour despite his experience of a succession of near-fatal infections from bites.[1]

Beyond this anecdotal material, Mayhew's articles are particularly notable for attempting to justify numerical estimates with other information, such as census data and police statistics. Thus if the assertion is made that 8,000 of a particular type of trader operate in the streets, Mayhew compares this to the total number of miles of street in the city, with an estimate of how many traders operate per mile.
The original three volume work entitled London Labour and the London Poor is available online here:
Keep your sightglass full, your firebox trimmed and your water iced

Mayhew's London

Henry Mayhew

Edited by
Peter Quennell


Bracken Books

0 946495 03 3

Happy Canada Day!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014 0 comments

To all you Steampunk Canucks!

I hope everyone get's to enjoy a fine day with good company and good times!

Canada is a land that was tied together by steam even as it was being born. A land where innovation, creativity, and inventiveness must be matched by hard work, endurance, and an appreciation for the beauty and magnificence of a sometimes hostile environment.

For 147 years we have struggled to carve out our home and native land from rocks, deserts, forests, rocky coastlines, vast prairies and soaring mountains. We have used every technological tool available at the time to do so.

 Steam made it possible, in trains, paddle steamers, power plants, mine hoists, ocean ships, factories and even the lowly, but all important, domestic heat needed for 9 months of every year!

As Steampunks we celebrate the inventiveness and creativity of the exotic and the "might have been". What better place to do it than in a country for which such activity is not a luxury but a necessity.

Happy Birthday Canada!

Keep your sightglass full, your firebox trimmed and your water iced!

H/T to The Steampunk Scholar for the image!

About Gears, Goggles, and Steam oh My!

Here I collect interesting bits of information related to the world of Steampunk.

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