I've stuck this here, because it's historical rather than steampunk oriented textual. Please move it if it's in the wrong place.
To begin at the beginning. When I wasa kid we had a copy of the Caselle's magazine annual from 1878. Long since lost now in many moves. However I have aquired a copy of the 1881 annual, and it's fascinating for any number of reasons. One of the section included is called "the Gatherer" and is a round up of current technology such as:
A Microscopic Motor
Probably the very smallest motor in the world is the tiny steam-engine recently constructed by an American clockmaker. It can be completely covered by an ordinary thumble, and weighs only about fifteen grains. It stands but three-fifths of an inch high, yet it is composed of boiler, speed regulator, and cylinder, all complete. No less than 140 distinct pieces have gone to build it up, and these are connected by fifty two screw nails. The stroke of the piston is about one twelfth of an inch, and two drops of water serve to fill the boiler.
even more intriguing: A "photophone"
and frankly terrifying: "Moving railway station"
Only one balloon that I've found so far: an electric balloon
There are also sections on fashion
"what to wear, Chit chat on dress, by our Paris correspondant."
Home furnishings: ( which I was delighted to see contained the phrase "tricked out" !)
Gardening, health, music and poetry, and a host of other subjects.
As the kicker, between the pages was this: a very faded daguerrotype.
Onclose examination it turns out to be a photograph of a young lady. I have named her Mary (after the name hand written in the flyleaf of the book.
It's very difficult to see, but I'll be trying some photoshop trickery to try to get her as clear as I can.