Victorian and Steampunk Automata

Robots from the Past

Automatons in Steampunk are not a rarity. In our re-imagining of the past, many of us like to take the idea a bit further and somehow extrapolate that inventors and engineers would eventually create robots working off of steam and gears. Turning the automata into walking, talking, dancing and singing robots gives us an avenue to consider and question what it is that makes something a “living being”.

Some of the best known automata in Steampunk today would likely be the guys of Steam Powered Giraffe who perform with buzzes, clicks and the occasional mechanical stutter blended into their show and their music. I often think of Abney Park when I imagine automata. From the beautiful dancing wind-up girl of Herr Drosselmeyer’s Doll to the the robotic policemen and clockwork prostitutes of the Airship Pirates RPG.

So today I thought I would share videos of those three things.

Abney Park – Herr Drosselmeyer’s Doll

This is possibly one of my favorite songs by Abney Park. It evokes a dark beauty with its melodic yet haunting sound. The story and the descriptiveness of the lyrics are inspiring. And, of course, having a good looking woman up on stage dancing to the role of a clockwork prostitute doesn’t hurt.

Steam Powered Giraffe – Honeybee

Honeybee is beautiful and sad. If you don’t know how bittersweet feels… listen to this song. The video below is the official video Steam Powered Giraffe filmed for Honeybee so it features old band member The Jon.

Lost Art of Automatons Alive Again

A clip from a CBS Sunday Morning report on old school automata. These are the real things that were created by those watchmakers and engineers of old. While we may constantly think that technology is better and more advanced now, looking back on creations such as this show the immense craftsmanship and technological ingenuity of our ancestors. Its amazing and awe-inspiring.

Thanks for Stopping in on Steam Tuesday

We very much hope you enjoyed this. I know that I tend to write far too little when I’m doing posts with videos in them but sometimes you just need to let the videos be the real attention-grabbers. If you’ve found any interesting stories or videos that you think would be perfect for a Steam Tuesday post, let us know about it in the comments below or email it to us at if that’s easier.

So once again, thank you for joining us, we hope you found those videos interesting and entertaining, and we hope to see you again soon. In the meantime why not check out some of our previous posts, follow us via email or RSS feed, and/or like us on Facebook. Our Facebook Page is full of silly photos and memes that I haven’t used in blog posts here. See you next time.

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