Thursday, May 20, 2010

Steampunk and steamboats

One of the best aspects of Steampunk in my opinion, is that it encourages men to dress up in adorable quasi-Victorian clothing. I've been looking for an image to give to the costume designer for the production of my play CELIA - and I'm thinking waaaay in advance since I haven't finished writing the play yet but I don't care cause it's fun - as a model for the clothing style for the handsome young gentleman, Tom, in my play. I couldn't find anything very good until I stumbled on this excellent Steampunk Fashion site and found a whole page of men's fashions. And this is just about the perfect look for Tom:

Mmm. come to mama!

I see that Gentleman's Emporium, a web site I blogged about a couple of years ago, has branched out into Steampunk fashions.

Sam Clemens looks rather dapper in this photo taken around the same time that CELIA is set.

But his brother Henry was the real cutie of the family:

Poor Henry died from a steamboat explosion. Sam Clemens made the news, long before he was famous, in a description of his grief:
We witnessed one of the most affecting scenes at the Exchange yesterday that has ever been seen. The brother of Mr. Henry Clemens, second clerk of the Pennsylvania... arrived in the city yesterday afternoon, on the steamer A. T. Lacy. He hurried to the Exchange to see his brother, and on approaching the bedside of the wounded man, his feelings so much overcame him, at the scalded and emaciated form before him, that he sunk to the floor overpowered. There was scarcely a dry eye in the house; the poor sufferers shed tears at the sight. This brother had been pilot on the Pennsylvania, but fortunately for him, had remained in New Orleans when the boat started up.

Clemens wrote to his sister-in-law:
Long before this reaches you, my poor Henry, - my darling, my pride, my glory, my all, will have finished his blameless career, and the light of my life will have gone out in utter darkness. O, God! this is hard to bear...