Let the Sun shine in!
Last time I presented a link to the fascinating world of graphical calculations known as Nomography.
Now in Steampunk there is an emphasis on the mechanical. Time keeping being probably the greatest illustration of this. From tiny mechanical watches to massive clockwork calculating machines the imagery of gears and clocks are everywhere. But there are older ways of measuring time, using the motion of the Earth and the apparent motion of the Sun and other heavenly bodies with sundials and sextants, astrolabes etc.
This paper has some exotic patterns and calculations for devices that would make wonderful additions to our gadgets:
Regiomontanus, Apian and Capuchin Sundials by Fer J. de Vries, Mac Oglesby,William S. Maddux and Warren Thom
So how would using this old "primitive" technology be used in Steampunk?
Elegant AND functional, scientific and technical, the Steampunk aesthetic on display indeed.
Keep your sightglass full, your firebox trimmed, and your water iced.