Probably there is nothing more steampunk than the locomotive — besides the airship, of course. Railways have always represented movement, freedom, human genius, but after their introduction they soon became infected by the germ of war and started serving destructive purposes.
This seems to be the sad destiny of all human inventions, from the ancient chariots to the modern airplanes. Continue reading “Railways and War”
Conspiracy theories of Adolf Hitler surviving the war to die an old man in Spain or South America have been around since he was supposed to have committed suicide in a bunker deep below Berlin in April 1945.
Historians have largely dismissed these claims. Recent forensic research of Hitler’s remains, long held in Russian archives, proved that the German dictator did perish with his dream of a Thousand Year Reich.
But it hasn’t convinced the conspiracy theorists. Continue reading “Did Adolf Hitler Survive the War?”
Seaside holidays are today a common way for many people to pass their summer vacation. What many probably don’t know is that the summer vacation we envision today, with children playing on and with the sand, people bathing or walking along promenades and piers, are all traditions rooted in nineteenth-century England. Continue reading “Victorian Seaside Resorts”
The years following the collapse of Wall Street in 1929 were some of America’s most iconic with regards to the dieselpunk genre. While the Roaring Twenties tore us away from the moorings of Victorian culture and the 1940s saw Uncle Sam fighting toe to toe against the Axis, many of the sights and sounds that we associate with dieselpunk are actually products of the 1930s. Continue reading “Surviving the 1930s”
Following in the horsemen’s wake of World War I, the story of America in the 1920s was one of a country weaving itself together from the tatters of plague and poverty. It was a time when the citizens danced to Nero’s fiddle while the republic battled its self-made robber barons and gentlemen thieves. It was a time when the populace cried out and told the heavens that no matter what was thrown their way, they were still alive. It was the Roaring Twenties. Continue reading “The Lost Generation”
The Roaring Twenties were a period of great paradoxes. After the First World War, the world was experiencing a period of vitality and exuberance, new technologies and styles. At the same time, it was a period of political and social contrasts which ended with the Great Depression.
Art Deco is the aesthetic which best incarnated the aspirations of those years and their yearning for modernity. Continue reading “Art Deco”
The Roaring Twenties, or Goldenen Zwanziger Jahre, as they were known in Germany, were very likely Germany’s happiest time in the first half of the twentieth century. They can also be considered Berlin’s Golden Age.
The time between the end of the hyperinflation and hardships of the post-Great War period and the stock market crash of 1929 were a comparatively stable period for the troubled Weimar Republic. The largely French-driven dictates of the Versailles Treaty were modified and relieved by the implementation of the Dawes Plan and later the Young Plan (although the latter would not come into effect until 1930). In 1926, the Weimar Republic joined the League of Nations, another sign of normalization.
Fueled by American dollars, the German economy stabilized and expanded, leading to increased wealth. This credit-financed economy would later prove highly vulnerable to the effects of the Great Recession of the early 1930s, but, for the moment, the Weimar Republic enjoyed prosperity, stability and good times. Continue reading “Germany’s Golden Twenties”
Half a decade before the first experiments of the Wright brothers, a wave of unlikely airship sightings spread across the American Midwest in an incident that has become known as the Great Airship Scare. It was America’s first big UFO craze. Continue reading “The Great Airship Scare”
In general, the history of cinema seems to be more significantly linked to dieselpunk and cyberpunk as opposed to steampunk. This isn’t surprising, considering cinema isn’t considered to have entered its prime until the 1920s, around the beginning of the “dieselpunk” era.
However, it’s important to remember that in 1895, the Lumière brothers held their first public film screening, some thirty years before the Golden Age of Silent Film. Continue reading “The Original Steampunk Cinema”
Much of the Howard Hughes legend was well dramatized in the hit Hollywood film The Aviator, starring Leonardo DiCaprio. With some alterations for narrative, the film was a great success and provided the viewer with a good understanding of Hughes and his eccentricities.
However, the film ends well before Hughes himself passed away in 1976 and left many details of his life uncovered. Continue reading “The Aviator: The Life and Legend of Howard Hughes”