A Story – The Steampunk Moonlander

This is a rare find indeed! Discovered recently in a box of ephemera left as part of an eccentric recluse’s estate in Wensleydale, England, this is thought to be one of the fabled photographs that captured the largely apocryphal adventures of her forebear, Theophilus Carter.

Although Theophilus ostensibly made his living as a cabinet maker in Victorian Oxford, he was also of sufficient means to indulge his passion as an enthusiastic inventor. His initial setbacks with his more modest invention, the Alarm Clock Bed, first shown publicly at the Great Exhibition in 1851 met with such muted response that he was forced to continue his future activities hidden from public scrutiny through fear of criticism. In fact, such was his modesty that little is known of his later development of the steam space engine and his subsequent solo return trip to the moon in 1898.

He was blessed with sufficient foresight, however to carry photographic equipment with him on this adventure and I am pleased to be able to share with the public at large this remarkable image of the lunar surface, with waxing Earth and “The Brunel” rocket in the foreground.


© Richard Reeve

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