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Author Topic: Can we talk about cogs?  (Read 387 times)
cossoft
Gunner
**
United Kingdom United Kingdom


« on: July 28, 2017, 02:00:46 am »

I've just done a "cogs" search of this forum and got two full pages of threads with "cogs" in the title.  There must be many more that simply have "cogs" in the main body of the post.  People here seem to like their cogs, which are actually called gears.  And we all know that to Steampunk something, one adds cogs to it.  That not only makes it Steampunk, but Victorian from which Steampunk is derived. 

I now offer three pieces of Victorian evidence:-


which is a cotton mill.  One of the most iconic features of the Victorian era.  I don't think that the drums in the foreground are gears.


R class locomotive.  No gears in evidence.


The most Steampunk looking piece.  But actually, it's not.  It's the marine chronometer used on the Bounty.  You can just about see a tiny bit of gear. Okay it's from King George III's time, but hey.

So I ask (perhaps naively), why does cogs = Steampunk when Victorian ≠ gears?



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Atterton
Time Traveler
****

Only The Shadow knows


« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2017, 06:25:18 am »

Cogwheels. Gears are an arrangement of cogwheels.
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Resurrectionist and freelance surgeon.
J. Wilhelm
╬ Admiral und Luftschiffengel ╬
Board Moderator
Immortal
**
United States United States


Sentisne fortunatum punkus? Veni. Diem meum comple


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« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2017, 07:09:36 am »

The definition seems to be somewhat ambiguous depending on the source. In some cases some refer to cogwheels as "gears." And the collection of meshing gears is more specifically called a gear train.
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RJBowman
Zeppelin Captain
*****


« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2017, 05:20:16 pm »

Why, also, do vacuum tubes mean steampunk, when they didn't come into use until the 1910's, and were most prominently used in the mid 20th century? It might be because these mechanisms are not used much anymore, or at least are not much in evidence any more, but neither mechanism has been so outmoded that samples aren't readily available to incorporate into home made costumes and props.

It might also be because gears were used in the more complex devices of that past era; so they suggest something more sophisticated and advanced than that era's common tools, and this fits in with the retro-futurist aspect of steampunk.

That small gears are often made of brass may be a factor; this is a metal that isn't used as much these days, and is very evocative of the past.
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cossoft
Gunner
**
United Kingdom United Kingdom


« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2017, 04:17:54 am »

Yes of course - I'd forgotten valves  Shocked  It's a weird anachronism that's also part of Steampunk. 

Does anyone remember how Steampunk started?  Have valves always been a part, or did they come later?  i guess they look like something out of Frankenstein's laboratory, especially if you can light one up. And those movies are set in Victorian times, even if the book slightly predated it.
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RJBowman
Zeppelin Captain
*****


« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2017, 06:34:36 am »

Steampunk got started in print fiction. Tubes became part of steampunk when someone that didn't know their technological history grabbed a few from a junk drawer and stuck them on a costume prop.

A particularly cringe-worthy example of decorative vacuum tube usage: An episode of last year's series TV series "Houdini and Doyle" featured Thomas Edison using a modified phonograph to record ghost voices. The prop phonograph was decorated with vacuum tubes, a technology that Edison discovered by accident, but never developed into any sort of usable form, and never made use of in any subsequent invention.
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