The Steampunk Empire

The Crossroads of the Aether

Everyone's familiar with the common steampunk tropes. Air Pirate, Engineer, Saloon Girl, etc. etc.

So what occupations and costumes can you think of that are outside the norm? Either speculative, or an actual costume you've photographed?

For the first, I would like to suggest an itinerant agricultural laborer. A Spalpeen, if you will.

Due to the nature of crop farming, extra workers were needed during the Spring ( plowing, planting ), and especially the Fall harvest. The day-to-day needs of animal care were done by the farmer and his family, so they didn't need help with that.

Someone that owned a steam traction engine was very busy during both seasons. But they had to do something different the rest of the year.

Itinerant laborers were desperately needed in the Fall, but during the rest of the year they were "free" to find other work. Or starve ( a very popular option ). So the spalpeen is not tied down to one location. This would give your character the excuse to be almost anywhere during the rest of the year, in the lower levels of society.

Farming was (and is) a very dangerous business. I can imagine someone having a specialized arm to harvest corn (maize) or other grain. Their task might be to harvest the outer 8' of a field, because a machine or animal powered harvester would trample down this part of the crop.

What else????

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I thought the glass vials may work, with one of the little leather holders for a brew or two. Perhaps my bolline (for harvesting natural goodies) could be sheathed in a gauntlet instead of on my waist. For actual herb collecting I would have muslin bags hanging from my waist. I will also have weapons because after all I am on a merc crew ;) so perhaps I can use the brass for my ammo. (flint lock pistols)

Would you wear pants or a skirt? If a skirt, perhaps a canvas apron with pockets. With either a belt with hooks for the muslin bags, perhaps a pouch that snaps shut to hold empty bags. A canvas satchel, or a leather one, to hold a notebook and pencil(s), extra bags and jars, wax to seal vials. Wow, I could have a lit of fun making something like that!

You know I like your satchel idea, I was going to use a basket, almost like a picnic basket but a satchel would be much easier. I would be wearing a skirt, but with skirt lifts for when I am walking over rough terrain. But I was looking at the western riding skirts the other day and contemplating their usefulness. I should show you my character document with all of my materials and gear and such (for rp of course) I think with our heads together I will have a very awesome outfit. can send me your doc if you'd like. i love to see what other people are doing. I make and sell jewelry and other accessories so it is a fun way to get new ideas (I never copy other people's stuff but do get ideas for new things I want to try)

Has anyone done any Indian/Hindu Steampunk?  I would think that the Sitar (one of the world coorlest instruments) would lend itself instantly to steampunking.  Thoughts, anyone?  A Brahmin or Indian wiseman would be an amazing character.  And I would love to see this dome.  Likewise a steampunk snake-charmer, or sword-dancer.  Someone, pretty please?


Likewise, I would love to see true japanese traditional dress done in a slightly steampunked fashion.  And I just do not mean a victorian bustle attached to a half-kimono.  This is darling.  But not precisely what I'm getting at.  This time period is actually when Japan re-opened her doors to the Western world and madly started incorporating articles of Victorian dress into the Japanese Aesthetic.  I have made a study of traditional Japanese costume (both from a historical standpoint, as a costumer) and would love to incorporate elements of steampunk without destroying/perverting the Japanese silhouette.  Anyone interested in this idea?

I have done so with the Indian theme. The Saree is a beautiful garment and brings in something that oft times in sorely lacking in a lot of Steampunk gatherings: Colors other than brown. Joking about colors aside, there are a million different ways to tie a Saree, depending on the area, the culture, the age of the woman, the length of the Saree silk, etc. However, it can be turned into something Steampunk rather well. Though I was a Spice Smuggler and not anything so holy as a Brahmin.


As for turning Japanese steam, I've a traditional Shensengumi uniform that I've been dying to alter somehow. So if anyone gives you any ideas, please do send them my way.

Absolutely!  I'm actually in love with traditional Japanese armor -- the way its constructed and its shapes, it lends itself to so many different looks (most notably, the storm troopers and Darth Vader of Star Wars fame) that I think it could become a seriously amazing steampunk personae.


I would love to see someone really do this well!

Oh!  That sounds fantastic!!!  I'd actually completely forgotten about Harmoniums, if my courses ever mentioned them.  Those sound perfect.  I would love to see them...

I have not yet seen a Hindu Steampunk, but I do like the idea!

One of my friends is doing Persian Steam Punk.  It works really well for her.  (She is also a belly dance instructor)


It's come up twice in this thread so far, but I'd like to portray a steampunk librarian. It will give me an excellent excuse to do research into the Dewey Decimal System. Plus one of my friends in library sciences was kind enough to point out that even the other librarians think the catalogers are out of their minds. Since she was focusing on cataloging herself, she found this perception to be highly amusing. In general I thought it would touch on many subjects that captivate me such as book and document restoration.

I'm hoping my research will lead me towards making some sort of cataloging device. But we'll see.

I've just come to the realization, in my Batman obsession, that there needs to be more superheroes in the Steampunk world. I mean, what more of a perfect place? And it's full of mad scientists and crazy super geniuses...


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