Image: Matt All images used with permission of the designers/photographers.The age of steam power was a dangerous one, with the newly harnessed fury of industry taking its toll on bodies and minds. In the high-tech world of steampunk the risks that can be imagined are all the greater. And what’s more, the eyes, at least, can be protected in style while tinkering away in the labs.
Image: SteampunkdesignIn fact, for the fashionable modern-day steampunk, all it takes is an old pair of safety or swimming goggles to get started; and, if they’re to hand, a few leather pieces, lenses from an optometrist friend, rivets and some nuts and bolts. Here are some stylish examples of steampunk goggles and glasses to provide some awesome inspiration.
13) Evil scientist goggles
Image: JP & Anelle AmmonsMade by JP Ammons, these goggles are specifically designed for wearers with glasses. Yes, that’s right: You wear your glasses, and then these goggles on top of them. JP claims they are surprisingly comfortable and geared for both men and women. They are lightweight, and instead of leaving steampunk gears directly in your field of vision, there’s only clear glass.
Image: JP & Anelle AmmonsThen, if you don’t mind obstructing your vision a little, there are also flip-up mesh lenses to protect your eyes. As a special feature, they are reversible — gold or silver to match your outfit. Apparently, switching the lenses is easy. JP says, “[It] is a simple process of turning a retaining ring, popping out the mesh disk and flipping it around and replacing the retaining ring.” Cool stuff!
Image: Allen BoudreauxThis pair, called “Timelord” by creator Allen Boudreaux, took about a week to make. The base seems to be an old pair of black swimming goggles, carefully given a worn look. Six nuts and bolts around each lens plus gears on the side complete the steampunk aesthetic.
11) Aviator goggles
10) Nautical goggles
Image: KimricThese goggles were made by steampunk artist Kimric Smythe, aka Boilermonster, from an old pair of German safety goggles. The brass and steel cog wheels, rivets and lens frames give this pair a positively nautical look, not to mention the weathered, crusty overall impression. What’s that on the frames? Sand from the bottom of the sea?
9) Nautilus goggles
8) Dr. Evil’s goggles
Image: Davey StevensonOn the subject of evil eyes, these glasses, with their red lenses and fold-down magnification, certainly make for an intriguing look. The metal and leather frame is deliberately kept as small as possible to make for a minimalist pair of glasses — speaking strictly in steampunk terms, of course.
7) Fly goggles
Image: JP & Anelle AmmonsIs anyone else reminded of a fly’s compound eyes when looking at these goggles? Using his trademark mesh lenses, JP Ammons outfitted this model with many rivets, buckles and straps. The lens frame is a cool golden color that contrasts nicely with the black leather background and brown leather strap.
Image: JP & Anelle AmmonsAbove is a slightly smaller version with more plastic parts, intended for the evil scientist’s lab intern.
6) Victorian goggles
Image: Lady Wolf StarThis pair of goggles is perfect for the Victorian gentleman. Dark leather and brass will suit any outfit, while keeping the wearer’s eyes and his potentially evil intentions hidden. The two magnifying lenses positioned above the right eye are very cool!
5) Mini goggles
Image: Molly M. FriedrichIn case you ever want to steampunk a doll or a small child — and you surely might want to — then you have to get a hold of these adorable black-and-gold mini goggles made by Molly M. Friedrich, aka Porkshanks. The creator clearly doesn’t want anyone to miss out, as these glasses show some amazing attention to detail, with even a miniature left-eye magnifier fitted in.
Image: Molly M. FriedrichCool use of an old piece of elastic for a strap!
4) Explorer scout recon goggles
Image: JP & Anelle AmmonsMade to resemble a diving mask, these goggles are handmade and created without glue or any plastic or rubber parts. The usual single, tempered-glass plate for the eyes has been replaced with a yarn mesh. As no steampunk diver or explorer would want to make do without magnifiers, four standard jeweler’s lenses have been attached as eye loupes. The leather head strap comes with two impressive steampunk snap extenders on the sides and two buckles for size adjustment. And check out the coil on top!
3) Motorcycle dearies
2) Industrial sewing goggles
1) Telescope goggles
Image: SteampunkdesignThese one-of-a-kind, custom handmade steampunk glasses come with a built-in telescope. How cool is that? The polished brass accentuates this special feature as well as the two beautiful flip-down magnifiers for the left eye. Even when the telescope is retracted, the glasses look stunning.
Image: SteampunkdesignThis brings us to the end of our list, but if you want to see more, follow the links to the designers’ websites and feeds to see many other awesome creations. Or you could get to work yourself! You know what you need now: some old leather pieces, or belts; an old pair of goggles; and any kinds of lenses, rivets or nuts and bolts; or whatever machine parts strike your fancy! Happy steampunking!