WHAT?!? Another set of alter-egos? Yes, indeed, welcome to the pages of Professors Thaddeus Baldwin and Penelope Winterbourne! I think we were among the first in our area to discover this neat art movement / lifestyle and attempt to actively participate, but we have been very slow to adopt it into our lives.
Thaddeus would like to think that his lifelong fascination with steam locomotives and Victorian architecture gave him a natural inclination towards steampunk, and Penelope’s fascination with all things ancient Egyptian mirrors that of the late Victorians. Since we value the simple approach to things, we end up falling short of implementing the elaborate furnishings and gilt of the age.
That doesn’t mean we object to dressing up, just that you aren’t likely to see our house outfitted with gas lamps, flocked wallpaper, and tons of brass and copper. The closest we will come to Victorian adornments is how we chose to paint the trim on our house. OK, we do have a number of clocks, tons of books, bric-a-brac, prints of steam engines on the wall, an ever-expanding collection of railroad lanterns, and a slight obsession with tea (we blame Thaddeus for the last three). But that’s it. Really.
A few words from Professor Thaddeus Baldwin:
Call it retro-futurism, steampunk, alternative history, Vernian science fiction, a literary movement, art movement, or jokingly “Goths who discovered the color brown”, there is a growing community of people that are collectively referring to themselves as “steampunk”. There is no common shared vision of what it is or what it means other than overlapping fascination with various aspects of the Victorian era. You’ll see splinter movements of people interested in the American “Old West” re-imagined in the vein of the Wild Wild West of television and movie fame. You can’t define it as “reenactment” or “recreation” since neither term is appropriate nor accurate–in spite of the fact some people have really done some nice research.
What makes it “steampunk” is mostly in the eye of the beholder. Steam locomotives and steamships are where it’s at in my view–perhaps not in line with all the airship pirates out there, but hey, it’s my vision. even so, there’s plenty of room for airships and coal-fired rockets in that vision (Remember the game Space: 1899? I don’t either, I just remember it gathering dust at the local game store.). Of course, my vision hasn’t refined itself yet, and I am trying to fit pieces together a bit randomly to see where it leads…. So far, all we’ve got here at Ealdercote is generic steampunk, but we do have the beginnings of a plan!.
We’ve started our own virtual steampunk rail line, and our first locomotive is a refitted broad-gauge Firefly Class 2-2-2 locomotive, named The Raven. The name is a nod to our association with the SCA household known as House Corvus….
At any rate, take a look at some of our other steampunk-oriented pages to see what we’ve been up to so far….