Questions tagged [steampunk]

For questions based in worlds where technology is typically steam-powered rather than based on electricity.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
1
vote
2answers
130 views
+200

Materials preferably available up to early 1900s ideal for mechanical wings

In my universe, focused on a steampunk-esque atmosphere although with more modern technologies up to the early 2000s (yes I am aware of dieselpunk, atompunk etc, but in here the steampunk aesthetic is ...
25
votes
18answers
5k views

Why would a compass not work in my world?

I’m trying to build a world with steampunk-level technology, but would like it if compasses didn’t work/exist (or, failing that, if they were prohibitively expensive or difficult to get hold of). The ...
3
votes
2answers
172 views

Coal or coal analogs without Carboniferous?

In my world, there could be no Carboniferous, during which the overwhelming majority of coal was deposited on our planet. No swamps probably exist either, cutting off that way of generating coal as ...
2
votes
2answers
90 views

Would lack of petroleum oil help make planes impossible, or uncompetitive to airships?

In my steampunk world (developed to roughly 1870-1910 levels of technological development), there are no oil deposits and flatlands are highly valuable due to their relative rarity (the entire thing ...
18
votes
16answers
7k views

Could they send a satellite in space before the 15th century?

Suddenly, on one of their routine maintenance space missions, NASA or SpaceX (or whoever else) finds a big, clunky piece of metal with some kind of mechanical, crude mechanism and a big mirror with a ...
8
votes
5answers
182 views

Can clockwork robots have any sensory apparatus other than touch/contact/pressure? [duplicate]

Ignoring the constraints of mechanical computation, what sensory modes are even available to such a robot? Even in the 21st century artificial odor detection is rather primitive, and we have over a ...
8
votes
3answers
254 views

Sensors for a clockwork/fluidic robot?

So, mechanical computers are a thing, as are pneumatic and hydraulic actuators. Combining those ideas, it's not that hard to design simple purely-pneumatic/hydraulic robots--provide them with a ...
3
votes
3answers
701 views

What medium to use to drive steam engines?

I want to create a Steampunk setting, but I'd like to introduce another medium than water to do the inner-engine work for me. Of course, water is a fine medium for steam engines, because: it expands ...
2
votes
2answers
86 views

highly resistant metal or other material in late 1700s

What metal or material could be used to make super high-pressure canisters in the 1700s? It is for use as a fuel or propellant for a piston-driven engine to power vehicles, due to the fact that a gas ...
11
votes
10answers
3k views

How would medieval/Renaissance-era castles protect themselves from air raids?

Context : my fictional universe is set in a time period akin to the european Middle Ages/Renaissance. Think of the 1400s-1500s for reference. In most aspects (political, social, industrial etc.) my ...
4
votes
7answers
407 views

Roman air force

I need help in figuring out how to form an air force in the roman empire. In my story a time traveller goes back in time to ancient rome and becomes emperor and begins his attempt at modernizing the ...
3
votes
3answers
327 views

Steam-heated Balloons?

In my world, one of the main methods of transportations is via hot-air balloon. These balloons are propelled by aluminum(or other lightweight metal, it doesn’t really matter) steam engines, and the ...
9
votes
4answers
234 views

what could be used for flexible piping in the 1780s

How and out of what could flexible, thin air-tight tubes be made of at around 1780? These tubes need to be around a centimeter wide, with a 7.5 mm tube going through it. It must also be heat resistant ...
8
votes
9answers
1k views

How could a steampunk zeppelin navigate space?

it's my first question here, I'll try to be clear. I'm creating a story where there is a steampunk style civilization that has to face advanced civilizations in planetary and spatial battles. I'm ...
2
votes
3answers
448 views

Impact on the Environment of a Steam-Powered World

So in the world I've been creating, I decided that the inhabited world (which is actually pretty small because of reasons) uses steam power as its main source of energy. This inhabited area is about ...
6
votes
7answers
465 views

How would you design and build an American Civil War Steam Gun?

I am writing a Steanpunk novel and am interested in having a "plausible" Union Steam Gun that would help turn the tide in an Alternate History American Civil War. The gun can be either a machine gun ...
22
votes
13answers
5k views

Fantasy Military Arms and Armor: the Dwarven Grand Armory

I'm having some trouble coming up with arms and armament for my fantasy world's dwarven race. I have a few ideas for what they could wield but I'd like a few more to really make this army feel Alive. ...
7
votes
5answers
331 views

What are some ways an airship could be landed without people on the ground?

In my novel, an experimental airship needs to land in a field but it's in a foreign country where there was no coordination ahead of time to have people on the ground help tether it. Is is still ...
22
votes
18answers
4k views

Quick destruction of a helium filled airship?

I am writing a steampunk novel and am working on a scene where an enemy quickly overwhelms and destroys a US airship. The enemy has flying gyro sleds and a large airship of their own that is armed ...
6
votes
6answers
493 views

Realistic rollerblade steam propulsion device, like something that might have been invented with 18th century technology. Is it possible?

This was an idea generated by my sister that I thought was very interesting. I intended to make it work by strapping rollerblades on a person's legs and utilize a compressed gas/steam-powered pumping ...
5
votes
4answers
204 views

What would the port of an airship be called? [closed]

Marine ships and boats have ports. Airplanes have airports. In scifi spaceships can have space ports. What would be the airship equivalent in a steampunk world where marine ships are still heavily ...
4
votes
1answer
244 views

Steam-powered organ

Today I visited a two hours long organ concert (man, it was amazing) and weird idea have popped up in my head: organ powered by steam instead of pressurized air. This also made me thinking that it ...
3
votes
2answers
206 views

How high can a Victorian-era kite sail be flown?

A big problem with Steampunk airships is how to propel them. Steam engines tend to be too heavy to be useful. And sails cannot be used, because unlike sea-going ships, airships are in contact with ...
1
vote
1answer
155 views

A society built an airship. What else? [closed]

A steampunk society managed to develop functioning airships filled with helium, powered by a steam engine. They mine this helium from an underground reservoir along with other natural gas. What else ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Biggest possible Steampunk Airship? [duplicate]

I have noticed that one thing that is very common among steampunk airship art is that the size of the decks beneath the gas chamber is outrageously larger than that of the real world. Example: ...
0
votes
4answers
335 views

Need help developing a weapon for destroying a dam [closed]

I am working on a story that happens in a dystopian world where the only source of energy is Coal. I wanted to know whether it is possible to break a dam by pressurizing Dam walls with coal GAS ...
5
votes
2answers
187 views

Hot air balloons lifting bridges in volcanic areas are possible?

In this world, there is a land isolated by a lava line, and the only way to get in there, is across a bridge levitated by hot air balloons. I had the idea of making a wooden bridge being supported by ...
9
votes
13answers
5k views

What historical events would have to change in order to make 19th century “steampunk” technology possible?

I know this is similar to this question but I'm not interested in suppressing 20th century tech to create 21st century steampunk, but in creating late 19th century steampunk with fantastic, Jules ...
4
votes
3answers
289 views

need help building a convincing Airship steam engine room [closed]

Building a world with airships that are powered by steam engines. Big boiler, water tank, lots of coal. Enormous engine room. Propellers, masts with huge sails. There are steam-powered automatons in ...
14
votes
10answers
4k views

Could solar power be utilized and substitute coal in the 19th century?

Would it be possible for a nation with 19th century to very early 20th century technology and history and hot desert climate to utilize solar power for electrical generation as a substitute for coal ...
-2
votes
1answer
156 views

Steam-Assisted Victorian Engineers - Why the secrecy? [closed]

Background Isambard Kingdom Brunel FRS 9 April 1806 – 15 September 1859, was an English mechanical and civil engineer who is considered "one of the most ingenious and prolific figures in ...
20
votes
10answers
3k views

What types of things could go wrong in an airship during a storm?

In the scene of one of my stories, an airship gets hit by a violent storm. Apart from exploding (which isn't helpful to the main character), what other things could go wrong that would be fixable? ...
6
votes
4answers
282 views

How could it rain oil?

It’s 2019 in an alternate steampunk/dieselpunk universe. Population growth, dwindling resources, and the evil overlords have everyone cramped into big cities, toiling away in the hope of something ...
4
votes
1answer
220 views

Super Strong robotic prosthesis steampunk Style

I'm thinking of a character that has the magical ability to transform parts of his body into technology, similar to Generator Rex or Bleeding armor iron man, but only with the technology that he "...
7
votes
5answers
259 views

Can-and-String Telecommunications Network - Repeaters and Amplifiers

Background We know about the can-and-string telephone. There are various claims about the maximum distance over which this is effective. Let's say 100 feet is possible without too much loss and ...
1
vote
0answers
289 views

Atomic Steampunk [closed]

I know steampunk, or rather, steam and coal technology is very limited, needs lots of space, little portability and little energy use. But nuclear plants use the same thing, the only difference is ...
7
votes
1answer
321 views

What is a realistic computational limit for a handtool-made mechanic computer?

This question here brought up interesting points on what kind of distribution we could expect for the increase in computational power of mechanical computers in a world relying solely on such non-...
10
votes
4answers
974 views

Feasibility of a purely mechanical grayscale “computer monitor”

Based on a previous question asking about mechanical computing (Babbage engines, etc.) I wondered how a steampunk story could present the concept of a modern computer monitor in a steam-driven ...
22
votes
8answers
6k views

Would Moore's Law apply to mechanical computers?

We know through the works of Babbage, Lovelace, et al. that mechanical computers (computers operating through gears, cogs, etc., and powered by steam or some other arbitrary non-electric power source) ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

Steam Powered Door

I'm no engineer, but I was wondering how a steam-powered door would work. I want it to be difficult to open unless you know how (not a simple "twist the doorknob and open"). There is access to plenty ...
11
votes
9answers
4k views

Victorian CCTV?

In a setting of late Victorian technology, would it be possible to record and replay sound and light near-real-time similar to modern video-recordings? The ideal criteria for the system would be (in ...
2
votes
0answers
134 views

Implications of phlogiston theory? [closed]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phlogiston_theory Assuming experiments in the 1770s had proven phlogiston theory correct instead of invalidating it, what would the implications be for the development ...
9
votes
5answers
1k views

Could people of the 14th century create an inline engine for use in aircraft and vehicles?

If an expert of some kind travels back in time to the 14th or 15th century with modern tools and machines that don't require power to work and if he were to past on the knowledge of modern technology ...
11
votes
2answers
888 views

“Magic” diamonds for fuel?

The subterranean nation of Glot has developed the ability to “thermally link” two equally sized diamonds, such that they are always the same temperature, regardless of spatial separation. We can ...
3
votes
3answers
177 views

Would Be Possible To Build A Small, Lightweight Boiler For Airships

I am wondering if it would be possible to make very lightweight and small steam engines for airships. Said airships engines are actually electric, but the boiler generates the electricity (via a ...
2
votes
6answers
2k views

Feasibility of electrically heated steam engine

I was looking into the Dobles of years past after watching videos of Jay Leno's Doble E-20 and was trying to imagine how one could make the steam car a viable competitor to EVs and obviously one of ...
18
votes
8answers
5k views

How can you justify a steampunk society in which electricity exists and the understanding to use it (though rudimentary) is present?

In most modern steampunk settings you see rudimentary use of electricity (a good example is Dishonored) however, no one seems to be too interested in advancing electric technology beyond very crude ...
1
vote
0answers
119 views

Steam Locomotive without Industrial Revolution? [closed]

In the world I'm building, there is a steam-powered train, but it's a steam turbine locomotive, not a steam piston locomotive. Otherwise, the desired technological level of the world is (more or less) ...
3
votes
1answer
156 views

How much can you tow with a steam vehicle and still have the ability to turn?

How much can you tow with a steam vehicle and still have the ability to turn? We are working with very early steam engines, so multiple pistons are not fancied, but accepted. Size is of no mater ...
5
votes
2answers
179 views

Combining Wingsuits and Steampunk

I'm creating a city that uses wing suits to get from high elevated areas to lower areas. It's not a "steampunk" world, but they do rely on steam power. I wanted to create a way for them to land ...