Because I am no different than anyone else, I thought it important to include goggles in my Steampunk manuscript. I wouldn’t leave a dragon out of a story about St. George and I wouldn’t leave sex from a vampire novel, so here you have it, Electro-sensitive Nightlight Goggles:
“I figure that we’re going to places they might not have light and my pocket watch isn’t going to do if we get separated,” he said. Oscar’s stomach sunk a bit at the suggestion that he might end up separated from the others, lost in the winding dark of the Coalslides. Even so, the nightlight goggles Billy had brought back were just intriguing enough to put him off his worries. They were typical of an airship pilot’s goggles in that they were held together on a thick band of treated leather. The eyepieces were pink-tinted glass set in metal casings and included a spare set of lenses in light blue hinged to the sides.
Oscar fastened the goggles to his head and felt around the edges of the eyepieces. Without much trouble, he located the on switch and gave it a push. Light blossomed from the outermost edges of the lenses, lighting the area before him without hampering his sight. They were in a well-lit corridor now, but it seemed likely that these were quality nightlights and would serve them well enough in the dark. Experimentally, he pushed on the extra lenses, sliding the pale blue lenses over the pink ones.
With the inclusion of the new lens, faint blueish lines appeared all over, running alongside the corridor, the length of the ceiling, and even the floor. He peered closely and saw that the lines were, in fact, several of the wires and thicker rubber tubes that ran endlessly throughout the Coalslides. He noted that the bare electric light bulbs clinging to the ceiling had taken on a similar blue glow.
Oscar pushed the goggles up onto his forehead and blinked. The bulbs and wires ceased glowing. He slid the goggles down again and the faint blue lines reappeared. Pushing the goggles back up on his forehead again, he looked to see his friends doing exactly the same thing.
“What is it?” Constance asked in awe. They both looked to Billy. He was grinning from ear to ear and staring up at a swinging light bulb directly above their heads.
“Electro-sensitive lenses,” he said in a low voice full of wonder. “He said they let you see electricity.” Billy jerked a thumb in the direction of the peddler he’d purchased the goggles from. The soot-stained man waved at them, grinning in appreciation of their astonishment.
“See electricity?” Constance repeated. “That’s marvelous.” Oscar could only nod in agreement. If such a thing existed aboveground, he’d never heard of it. “These must have cost you a fortune.”
“Nah, not at all. It did cost my Pa a few bright pennies though.” Billy grinned and they grinned back. It was no secret that the Lemp family had as much money as anyone could imagine. They even had great steel vaults inside their opulent mansion to keep it in. If Billy spread the wealth around a bit, he was never proud or arrogant about it and he always made it very clear that he had no particular attachment to it anyway.