Steampunk culture has exploded from its beginnings as a small genre of literature into a powerhouse of pop culture. Its ties stretch from movies and novels to fashion lines and musical acts. The followers of Steampunk culture have hit the mainstream and never let up, with cosplays making their way into New York and San Deigo Comic Cons, and festivals devoted to the culture springing up all over the world.
Costume SuperCenter dedicated this infographic to track steampunk culture from humble beginnings (perhaps further back in time that you’d think) to its relevance in today’s popular culture. If you want to get your steampunk on, take a peek at the costumes and accessories that are available from Costume SuperCenter!
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- 1954: On Dec. 23, Walt Disney’s “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” released in theaters. It was considered one of the original visualizations of steampunk because of the submarine The Nautilus and the crew’s underwater gear. George Pal’s “The Time Machine” in 1960 was also considered a pioneer of the visualization of steampunk.
- 1959: Mervyn Peake’s novel, “Titus Alone,” was published. It is widely regarded as the first novel in the genre of steampunk. The story is the third book in the Gormenghast series, and it follows the main character, Titus, as he journeys through the world outside of the castle.
- 1987: In April of 1987, science-fiction writer K.W. Jeter coined the term “steampunk” to describe the genre of fiction that Jeter and other writers like Tim Powers and James Blaylock were writing in. It was a tongue-in-cheek variation of the word “cyberpunk.”
- 2005: The world’s first steampunk clothing company, Steampunk Couture, was founded by Kate “Kato” Lamber in 2005. Its clothing line mixes Victorian and post-apocalyptic influenced styles. The style of clothing has since made its way into the high fashion brands like Dolce & Gabbana, Versace, and Christian Dior.
- 2006: The first “SalonCon” was held, sparking the steampunk convention movement. It featured Neo-Victorian themes and ran for three years. Since its inception, several other steampunk conventions have popped up all over the world, including SteamCon and the Steampunk World’s Fair.