Just picked it from Datamancer. Previous sightings include Newsweek’s article (from October 31, 2007) on Richard Nagy and steampunk technology. Features: mahogany-stained pine, leather wrist rests, clock-winding key, brass claw feet. Style: steampunk, DIY, user-generated innovation.
And this is a “old-time photo” booth from the ongoing National Western Stock Show in Denver. Anyone can have his image inserted into an Old West picture.
The appropriation of the past takes different forms and has different avatars. Since the early 1990s steampunk recreates the world as it was seen by Jules Verne and Herbert G. Wells in the late 19th century. Probably because their science fiction (remember Captain Nemo’s submarine?) came true in the 20th century. (Even Wells’s Time Machine, which was published in 1895, coincided with the Lumiere brothers’ screening of their first motion picture, i.e. the first time machine.) Western nostalgia has a longer pedigree; it goes all the way to Buffalo Bill, and the imitations of a Wild West show can still be seen in North American rodeos and fairs. While products and people are disposable, brands are built to last.