Comments: 3
no. steampunk was a thing before this. way before this. it developed into a genre in the 70s (drawing on various classic literature as inspiration)

and yes. i know what steampunk is. even if i don't share the photos here to prove it, i have a shelf for it.
I think it was more there was growing visibility outside of conventions and niche venues. I mean, for how widespread its become, its still something of a niche awareness.
plus we're also talking about the genesis of the internet, so message boards and pre modern internet communication going into modern internet