In the 17/1800s, England was very much powered by steam. However, not much advanced in the department outside of factory machinery. I feel that, had workers been given decent wages and hours, maybe inventors would have felt more inclined towards creating steam-powered devices for everyday people. But in this scenario, would coal- and electric-powered devices have been created more rapidly, due to the influx of people with time to do research of their own/with enough income to receive college educations?

What do you think would be the ideal scenario for a steampunk society to come about? Do you think there's a time in human history where we could have done a few things slightly differently and ended up with this instead?


closed as too broad by StephenG, L.Dutch, Vylix, sphennings, Mołot Oct 16 '17 at 6:13

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  • $\begingroup$ I don't think it was a lack of desire or money - plenty of inventors tried to use steam to build engines (see: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steam_aircraft). Rather, it was the rise of electricity and improvements in the refinement of petroleum. $\endgroup$ – Tim Oct 16 '17 at 1:44
  • $\begingroup$ "What do you think" is the cue to start close-vote for too opinion-based $\endgroup$ – Vylix Oct 16 '17 at 2:49
  • $\begingroup$ @Tim That's really interesting, thanks for the page! $\endgroup$ – Molly Taylor Oct 16 '17 at 3:58
  • $\begingroup$ @Vylix But I'm hoping for a discussion. I'd much rather learn people's opinions on a no-right-answer matter than to just ask a black-and-white question. $\endgroup$ – Molly Taylor Oct 16 '17 at 3:59
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    $\begingroup$ Thanks, all! And thanks, Vylix, for helping me get used to this site! :) $\endgroup$ – Molly Taylor Oct 16 '17 at 20:31