Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Nightmare Fuel: Realife Steampunk Automaton

by Megan S.

Clockwork automatons, the Steampunk precursors to robots, are a core part of the subgenre but rarely come off as particularly creepy.  How could something like the loveable Tik Tok be scary? 

Sure.  That's what I thought, too, until I stumbled upon an actual 1870s carte de visite photograph of a steam-powered clockwork man wearing a top hat and no pants.

Ready to meet tonight's nightmare?

According to the Cowan auction house, the image is most likely documenting the automaton for a patent application.  The steam engine that powered the machine was placed on a cart behind it making it fully mobile. The articulated robot with a human visage and all-too-real looking hands was most likely photographed without pants to illustrate the leg design.  The carte de visite was sold in 2007 for a meager $690.00.  I don't know about you, but I think this real-life steampunk horror is priceless.

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1 comment:

  1. That pants-less creepy thing is nowhere near as loveable as Tik Tok!