Whence June 14 for Steampunk Day?

Charles Babbage
Charles Babbage

Earlier this week, June 14, was International Steampunk Day but it seems no one is quite sure why we ever picked that date.

Decimononic and Mike Perschon or The Steampunk Scholar have both raised this point. Perschon thinks it may have something to do with Charles Babbage.

June 14, 1822, was the date Charles Babbage proposed the difference engine in a paper to the Royal Astronomical Society entitled, “Note on the application of machinery to the computation of astronomical and mathematical tables.” Given the infamy of William Gibson and Bruce Sterling’s The Difference Engine as a “seminal steampunk work,” I can only surmise this may have been the reason for choosing June 14, but since no one seems to have posted this anywhere in the great wide Web, this is only conjecture.

Seems reasonable but of course, we want to get to the truth! Whoever came up with Steampunk Day in the first place? And what is the significance of June 14?

Leave a reply