The Steampunk World

Being the continued explorations of a living steampunk.

The steampunk world is all around us, lying just out of sight, in a continuous thread of steampunk builders and culture that extends from the Victorian era to the present. You'll find no science fiction here: This is real life steampunk.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Dr. Evermor

Location: Baraboo, Wisconsin, USA

Dr. Evermor is an amazing man who has taught me much even in the brief time I've known him.  You should visit the Forevertron as soon as possible because he is very ill.  He charges no admission, in fact, he took us to Culver's when we visited.  He holds the gallery art world in high contempt and sells his art by the pound. 

One time he drew us a map to a location 20 miles down the road.  The place was crawling with white and black rabbits.  It was a field of large sculptures, though Dr. Evermor said, "These aren't art, they're just energy focusing devices that need to be placed at certain locations around the countryside to focus energy towards the Forevertron."  So you see he considers his birds and such to be art but his machines to be pure function.

To call Dr. Evermor a 'steampunk' would be insulting, it would imply that he is someone who affects retrofuturistic style on purpose.  He's not a steampunk, he is a victorian mad scientist who is constructing a giant copper egg in order to hurl himself into the ether! 

The Forevertron:

Victorian Howitzer:

He likes to make giant birds.  The feathers are rejected blades from a shear factory.  The large fan-like things in the back are snowmaking equipment, they spin in the wind: seems to have expired its name registration, here is the archive:

Pax Alexandria wrote:  For a full audio-visual tour,  the doctor's visionary Tesla-sculpture makes an appearance at the climax of Mana: Beyond Belief,  a brilliant post-Baraka documentary available on Netflix.

There are tons of wonderful pictures at

The grill was made from some kind of industrial copper kettle.  The bellows work,  and there are various compartments for chilling and firewood and such.  The wheels aren't exactly highway-ready so this is towed on a trailer to events.  It makes coffee,  it has hand-painted cast iron rosework,  and can cook up a LOT of steak.

There are colorful little sculptures sitting on it,  they aren't part of it.  Neither is that phone booth in the background.  But you can see the sign- I think he calls it "Epicurean".  Obviously the canopy has been put away in this picture.

The Dr. took this to a Madison art fair once,  just to cook some grub.  It had the judges going crazy and took the prize,  pissing off all the local artists with their blobby metal sculptures and messy paintings.  The thing is,  if it works it's craft not art,  right?

As far as functionality goes,  this stuff is quite functional.  The forevertron has a series of focusing elements that need to be mounted at specific points in the surrounding 20 miles.  Presumably the Dr. will not fire it up until he is ready to leave this earth.

The giant sand-worms with acetyline tanks for spines are playable as instruments,  and Lady Evermor can play them quite beautifully.

Look at this giant bug... what the heck is that made out of?  Dr Evermor has equipment from Edison's lab as well as NASA's Apollo program.


Dr Evermor actually did a lot of work in the House on the Rock.  He built the carousel and is considered an authority on carousels due to so many years dismantling them.

Strange connection:  A guy I do metalworking for used to be in special effects back before things got all digital and lame.  He did a gig in the House on the Rock for a 10, 000 Maniacs music video,  in which the band has become automata.  The video has lots of glimpses of the automata in there:
I found this video of the Forevertron:"

Look for:

-signs of Dr. Evermor's purchase of 10, 000 brass doorknobs
-rejects from the local brass instrument factory
-kife and shear blades used as feathers
-neo-victorian "Love Gun" and Victorian Howizters
-his son's series of robots with a different tool for each hand/weapon
-the forevertron's copper egg (to fire him through the Firmament and into the Ether),  telescope for doubting thomases (10:30),  viewing platform for the Queen (9:08),  power plant parts,  NASA decontamination chamber (10:44),  stuff from Edison's lab.
-propellors seem to grow in dark places at the Forevertron.

At 5:19 you can see that electric-bus-turned-wrecker with the tank engine. It's lifting a pair of giant steel bouys painted to look like cherries.

He has on his lot the collection of an older, deceased builder who was obsessed with building electric vehicles from the 30s to the 60s. The guy took a Chicago Transit Authority electric bus chassis and mounted a radial 10-cylinder sherman tank engine on the bed.  The engine drives a dynamo which then powers the motivation for the bus (so the front cab is full of fuses and where the engine would be there's nothing),  and another electric winch drives a crane arm.  So the thing basically became a bus-sized wrecker,  and for decades he made money as the only guy around who could pull a semi out of a ditch.  Now we have those big mega-wreckers for semis but back then he was the boss.  So eventually he gave it to Dr. Evermor and he used it to haul stuff around the scrapyard.

So you see even the utility vehicles at this wonderful place are fantastical.

Visit it!

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