JF Ptak Science Books Post 1598
Punch, or the London Charivari published this delightful and somewhat prescient illustration in its 27 January 1866 issue. It is for me an excellent, sort-of early depiction of a steam-man, a steampunk man, a steam-driven clown: deeply and frequently hinged, smoke belching from a curved smokestack coming from the back of its head, and controlling its own destiny.
And what it seems to be doing with its poker in controlling its steam technology is busting the new technologies of the era, a rub and at the same time a statement of hope or expectation in a high-Victorian manner, a rationalism of all things via technological means. And at this time, in the mid-1860's, the new wellspring of hope was being found in electricity-based solutions--moving away from the pervasive steam-driven technologies--though as the cartoon suggests those expectations might be too soon, too fast and too deeply placed. After all, these things are being exploded by a "scientific clown" with a "scientific poker"--and that clown is being driven by steam.