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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?

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

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • $\begingroup$ 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