Voilá, The i-Victrola!  Don’t you want to enjoy your  i-pod with the tinny, scratchy sound that befits the post-industrial revolution? I had originally thought that this would be a dock with a port on the top but then at the suggestion of  my  better half I tried it by placing an i-pod inside and let the horn act as a passive amplifier. it works surprisingly well. The top of this lifts up.

The right side sports a coffee mill ( you could brew your own java will listening to NPR in the morning), and of course there is a gauge in the front to…uh…gauge things.

For a quick sound demo click on this link   www.youtube.com/watch?v=36E7key6Xh4


Portable Time Machine


I’m still working out a couple of the kinks in this PTM (Portable Time Machine) but it’s close.  I’ve rigged it so a battery can  jump start the  cathode which initiates the chronal displacement. As for  the rest…well you know, it operates like any other time machine, set it to an open field (vs. closed with positive ions moving from the electrolyte to the positive cathode) and pftt! you’re back in time.  Well more like hummm then pftt!

(above left) a modified 1920’s ‘B’ Battery  (right) The cathode core. Don’t forget, cathode polarity isn’t always negative which works out fine since I’m not going back before 1900.



(above) Fortunately for me, when these photos got passed around  no one noticed the curious device on my dresser.



(above) My AEF I.D.  Thankfully it doesn’t list a date of birth.  “uh…43 years from now?”


Creating a machine that bridges the gap between handwriting and the printed word seems an inevitable invention. Voilá…the Typewriter.  Simple in concept, yet a mechanical wonder. The user depresses a key and it causes a typebar to make an impression in ink of the selected character on your paper. Just like a small letter-press.  It’s mechanical beauty is in the details. Keys that don’t strike simultaneously and jam, the ability to shift from uppercase to lowercase letters on the fly, an advancing ribbon of ink to ensure a crisp black impression. It really is a marvelous invention. It’s also (like most great inventions) an idea that went through countless incarnations and improvements until it reached the version we think of today, the classic Underwood that Hemingway  used or the 1960’s IBM selectric.   Typewriters are perfect components for steampunk mad scientists. Typewriters revel in their mechanical function.  Early tinkers  looking to improve the typwriters performance thought so too ergo the problem in discerning between a contemporary steampunk mod (modified) and the real deal. Care to take a quiz? Below are some images of typewriters and typwriter related machines, guess which is a historial fact and which is a mod. The answers appear at the bottom of the post.












1. U.S. Army c.WWII Teletype (http://branfordhouseantiques.com)

2. Steampunk mod

3. Ford typewriter circa 1895

4. Linotype Machine .  A typesetting machine that allows the operator to casr molten lead into lines of type. Prior to the ’70s the standard in the newspaper industry.

5. Wozniaks Conundrum, Steampunk mod by Steve La Riccia. A combination of a Mac and an 1898 Remington.

6. Hansen Writing Ball, c. 187a by Rasmus Malling-Hansen

Some images from http://pinterest.com/jackhorner/anachrotech-computing/

A New Negative Bias Dynode Raygun

Fresh out of the work shop…(just needs to be charged)


Vacuum Tube Online Museum

I recently purchased some wonderfully complicated looking radio vacuum tubes. Transistors and semi-conductors just never looked this cool. I remember TV repair men replacing tubes in the back of our first black and white set. The warm glow coming from these tubes still sticks in my mind. But more importantly they look like the last needed component to …a Transmuter? A time machine? a Deathray? Who knows. A overly simple explanation of these tubes is that there is an electrical charge being introduced through a vacuum. There is a filament or a cathode (don’t ask me to explain cathodes… I’m just an ignorant  time traveler).  I’ll be adding to this gallery in the future.



Time Travel Gadget Fetish

I would like to stand up in front of my 12 step program and announce…”My name is Les, and I have a Time travel gadget fetish”…Below are some very cool electrical…important…uh..things that if they can’t get you back in time, nothing will. My next post will be from 1917…adios!



(above)  From the ebay subscription:  “….a very old multi-tester for phone company use…The latest patent number I could see  on the meter  at 1901 and a Western Electric Pat of 1917”

this baby has “an old Weston meter, switches, buttons, two adjustable rheostats, four telegraph type keys, a row of rocker switches, all sorts of inputs and an indicator light”.

An indicator light!  isn’t that awesome?  How else would you know you’ve reached 1917?  Well, the indicator light is blinking! Right? And the whole thing is portable.


(above) WWII Electric current tester. This small (5″ X 8″ X 5″) unit is probably  just good for sending you back a  couple of hours or maybe even a day.


Or this little hand held TTD (Time Travel Device) where you punch in the date you want and then the gadget does the rest.  Sweet right?

(okay, maybe it’s an 1885 check protector made in Brooklyn, who cares once you’re back in time?)


I’ve decided to not clean out my garage but to take all the misc. parts, things, fittings, etc. and instead of throwing them out I’d  make a death ray…yes…A DEATH RAY!!!  Bwaaaa -haaa -haaa! (cue the tesla coils sound Fx).  All you art directors that scoffed at my work….I’ll show you all !

Below are some of my first forays into Ray gun-ism.  I am incredibly impressed by all the steam punked rayguns out there.  Good god there are some talented fabricators toiling away.


I’m not sure what to call this yet but it seems to be made by Sears so I can always return (I am a member of the craftsman club ©  ) it if it fails to disintegrate  my foe, or at least flush him since some of these parts are from a toilet tank.


Above raygun # 2- This baby has a switch on it, so what ever it does…watch out!  it can do it on a low AND high setting.