Saturday, February 13, 2016

Steampunk Saturday: OpTikap for your Hands-Free Aether Navigation Needs

I've seen my share of Steampunk concoctions, ray guns made from Nerf pistols, steam-powered still-suits, and a bevvy of bustiered airship pirates, but what interests me most is where fantasy actually overlaps history. Among history's oddities I've covered gas masks for horses and headgear with a reading lamp, and now I'm moving on to the fabulous and (apparently) short-lived OpTikap.

Essentially, OpTikap was a newsboy cap with an attached, flip-up, set of sunglasses. Yes, even though the picture appears to have clear lenses, the manufacturer promised that "OpTies" would protect the wearer from strong sunlight, headlight glare, and dust. I imagine they'd be just the thing for the hardworking airship mechanic, how else should you protect your eyes while clambering up the rigging to secure a loose spar?

For those wanting to build their own OpTies, check out the description from the 1919 issue of The Clothier and Furnisher below:

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