The Steampunk Empire

The Crossroads of the Aether

Hey gang,
I was trying to explain steampunk to my dad over the Thanksgiving break, and I thought it did it quite well. However, his number one question was "Why does everyone where goggles?" I've heard this asked before and was curious how fellow steamers respond to this question. I say because it an "oh shiny" and a trademark, much like a Jedi and his lightsaber. My dad argued this with (after much laugher on my part) that Jedi is a singular occupation, while steampunk encompasses a plethora of jobs, most not requiring eye protection.

Tags: goggles, jedi, occupations, steampunk, why

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I've been wearing eye gear for a long time,worked in woodworking and welding...and in the fine arts. This is not just a fashion statement if you've seen wood shop accidents you know what I mean! Have you even been under a rusty car trying to fix something? These are a must! And YES they look great altered and punked out or steam punked.
I always have em on around by steam boilers or engines of course if one explodes goggles arnt much help !! It Is a ID thing for us I agree
There is always a likely hood of Aester gas storms. The gas would easily burn your eyes from their sockets if exposed.

(Seattle group Rise of Aester)
It's the rays, dangerous rays that one needs to be protected from. I never go up without my goggles. One could go blind without them.
Gotta have SOMETHING protecting the eyes :-)
Some of us are nearly blind without them!  *cheeky wink*
I always assumed it was because of aviator goggles or something?
I wear goggles because various types of shavings, mis-pounded rivets, hot metal, and or lye BURNS when gotten in the eye! I like my eyes just the way they are. Also handy when making my "napalm" salsa Habanero and Bird chilies in the eyes hurt too...
I'm very new to all of this, but my best understanding so far is that goggles are like the necktie of the steampunk world. It doesn't matter if you are an engineer or a welder or a musician because it is a fashionable tribute to those who came before you.

That's a brilliant way of putting it. my goggles are not very steam-punk at best. but my thing with this stuff is that its so shiny, people dressed as boiler men who spend their entire career getting covered in soot have shiny perfect goggles. is that wrong or just me?


(also try watching the hysteria log from the beginning. convincing proof of goggle-ness.)

In my oppinion goggles are a bit like a badge to make our clique stand apart from other cliques who dress in "funny" clothes. That is to say that it differentiates us from reenactors, goths, lollitas and old dressed-up folk. It therefore serves to say that we aren't outdated by virtue of being left behind the times, but rather that we choose this code of dress. It also provides the lazy, uncreative or financially challenged a quick way to dress up and be included. 20 bucks on a hat and 5 bucks for a set of e-bay goggles and then suddenly your very ordinary jacket, coat or suit is suddenly and outfit. 


I realise that in writing this I come accross as being judgmental. Far from it, I do have a set of goggles lying around the house and absolutely nothing else that remotely seems steampunky. It is a safe place to start from.This is my belief as to why goggles are so universially considered steampunk.


As to why they became steampunk, well, I would imagine that since steampunk is a bit of a label applied almost retroactively to a genre that has existed since victorian times, it symbolises the Vernian and futuristic aspects of sci-fi in the late 1800s. You can only have so many people dressed in the costume of the crazed scientist, airship captain, mountaineer, or desert explorer before the clothing becomes a bit of a theme. By far the most common form of headwear worn by Europeans in Africa in the Victorian period was what is considered the cowboy hat. Yet in steampunk we prefer the pith helmet. My belief is that when you dress up, a cowboy hat makes you a cowboy, while a pithhelmet makes you an explorer, and hence, the imagery has been extended to the genre as a whole.


I feel that the same applies to goggles.


My kindest regards




Being too lazy to see what I may have written here earlier (my attention span is a little shorter than that of a highly caffeinated gerbil), I would like to add that the goggles are in case of Adventure!

(My steampunk "costume" came entirely out of my existing closet - the combination of items is turned up to 11 but all pieces are also used as everyday clothes.  I needed to purchase goggles for events so as to be able to differentiate between when I am "dressed up" or just dressed.)


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