Steamcon is something we definitely need to do again

It was a glorious gathering of fellow nerds and a sight to behold.

About the Author

Long-time Sapulpa resident, Charles Betzler, followed his father, Charlie, into the radio and TV repair business. At age 9, he fixed his first broken radio and his first love is vintage audio equipment. In his 50 + years of technical work, graduation from OSUIT, and years of Continuing Education, Charles, in his capacity as Emergency Management Director of nearby city, designed the Emergency Operations Center, and the radio-activation system for the sirens. In his long career, he has repaired every type of consumer electronics from black-and-white TVs to the latest lap-top.

On October 26th and 27th, the Sapulpa Library held its first annual “Steamcon” which is a “Steampunk Pop Culture Convention” hosted by the Sapulpa Public Library through grants from SeneGence and the Muscogee Creek Nation.

It was a glorious gathering of fellow nerds and a sight to behold. There were displays of Steampunk items as well as Steampunk items for sale. There were science demonstrations and demonstrations by the Sapulpa High School robotics team. There were people in Cosplay costumes, comic book characters, and a live podcast covering the event by Comic Book Straight Talk, a stop-motion animation display, a computer-lab, hands-on workstation, a fabrication lab, where one could get a custom-made leather mask which was laser-cut on the spot. A 1983 Zimmer was displayed by its owner, as part of the Route 66 Auto Museum. Gaming tables, graphic art demonstrations, and vendors selling everything from Steampunk items to great food tantalized the attendees. Genre authors sold and signed their books.

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One of the coolest things there was the Fab Lab Tulsa mobile lab trailer. A Fab Lab is a small-scale workshop offering digital fabrication. The Fab Lab movement is closely aligned with the DIY (Do It Yourself) movement and Open-source hardware and shares philosophy as well as technology with them.

What is Steampunk? There are a lot of answers to this question but the simplest and most cogent definition is that Steampunk is a creative focus, based on re-imagining the 19th century, which you can use for any form of creativeness. This creativeness may be in the form of a fashion design or mechanical object that combines science fiction with Victorian aesthetics.

Some examples of Steampunk that almost everyone might have seen were devices and inventions seen on the TV show and movie “Wild Wild West,” such as the steam-powered wheelchair of Dr. Lovelace or the giant mechanical arachnid. Many 19th-century science fiction writers such as Jules Verne and H.G. Wells have inspired Steampunk designs. The following link has some great examples of Steampunk devices and fashion: https://tinyurl.com/y95pp83g.

Cosplay is a combination of the words “costume” and “play.” This term was first coined in Japan in 1984 to describe a performance art in which participants are called Cosplayers. They wear self-made costumes and fashion accessories to represent a fictional character.

About the Author

Long-time Sapulpa resident, Charles Betzler, followed his father, Charlie, into the radio and TV repair business. At age 9, he fixed his first broken radio and his first love is vintage audio equipment. In his 50 + years of technical work, graduation from OSUIT, and years of Continuing Education, Charles, in his capacity as Emergency Management Director of nearby city, designed the Emergency Operations Center, and the radio-activation system for the sirens. In his long career, he has repaired every type of consumer electronics from black-and-white TVs to the latest lap-top.

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