Creative Collaboration with Retro-Technologies

Learn - Share - Discuss - Design - Collaborate

With this site we are creating a collaborative space for sharing our love of pre-transistor technology—its history, art, science, craftsmanship, literature, and oh, yes... all the nitty-gritty hands-on details! If this goes right, Technites.Wiki will become a central location, a town-square of sorts, to help clubs, museums, educational institutions and individual amateurs to find and learn from each other. Some groups may choose to house a simple web-presence here, others to use it as a spring-board to their own sites. In many cases there are extensive sites available, but sometimes the trick is finding them and maintaining them. By building on a theme, limiting our scope, moderating our content, and using some modern tricks of technology (websites with databases) we can help each-other to build on work that has been done already, so we only re-invent the wheels we want to...

This site is a project to both collect and refine the details of who, what, where, when and how for our favorite "retro" technologies; but also to share and collaborate on the many ways we are keeping those inventions and fabulous creations alive—restoring antiques, building reproductions and models, making popsicle-stick versions for class-projects, or even integrating old-tech with high-tech (I know I'm not the only person with a telegraph-key hooked up to my PC!) Here's the place to play show-and-tell and share your how-to's.

For scope, we want to focus at first on the historical technological developments, and particularly those that have associated amateur communities. At the same time we want to welcome the growing number of artistic and creative groups that are exploring more fictional technology, it is my hope we can find a way to keep the lines clear between factual and fictional history without limiting the creativity of those participants. We will be striving to keep information on all of the major-pages reliable for vetted sources and accuracy. We have adopted the same copyright and licensing rules as Wikipedia to facilitate broader acceptance and ease of content sharing.

This site is the product of individuals with passions for these topics, it would be foolish to pretend we are unbiased; however, we will strive to hold ourselves to the highest goals of accuracy while also holding to the vital importance of OPEN inquiry that is essential to scientific discovery. The pages of this site are filled with links to other sites - these are simply the links we have chosen to share because we like them and feel they are relevant. Feel free to add recommendations to links you like and feel are relevant in the comment pages.

Here Steam-Engine Railroad enthusiasts can share insights with Steampunk Futurists; ham-radio league members can help Civil-War reenactors to improve their Morse-code skills; our young scouts can collaborate with teachers and engineers to earn their badges. And for the artists that want to make a home theater look like the observation deck of the Nautilus... here's where you can see what others have done and then share your detailed drawings, documents and DIY how-to's and inspire others to build their own versions.

This site will, no doubt, develop in ways we cannot yet foresee, and there is a lot to figure out just to do what we want right now... Unless someone wants to donate a bunch of money so we can set up a dedicated host, for now, we need to leverage other sites that will allow us to share the more storage-intensive content such as videos and images. As a rule we want any such content to have an accompanying descriptive text. To keep our information properly available it needs to be searchable, sort-able and accessible--that means taking the time to give it a proper write-up, from descriptions and objectives to commentary. When submitting comments please post your text here with links to any other files which are then hosted somewhere like Wikipedia, YouTube or Pinterest. Feel free to suggest better methods to achieve this same goal.


--Creations --THEN
We are planning to have museum-like galleries of the inventions with summary and detail pages. This is the place to go from principles, impact and overview to the details of individual artifacts, gathering what we know as individuals to build a collective, in-depth resource.

--Creations --NOW
So many of us are making our own reproductions, models or even restoring old equipment. Here we have Galleries to play show-and-tell, and see what other folks are doing and how they solve the problems that arise.

--Art & Fiction -- THEN
The 19th century literary and artistic flights of fancy that were also part of that technological development deserve a place of recognition here as well, from Mary Shelly's quest for the spark of life, Edgar Alan Poe's trip to the Moon, Jules Verne's exploration beneath the sea, and all the way to H.G. Wells' travels through time. There is a growing period literature review section, and we'd love to have any art and technical drawings that copyrights will allow us to post. (Please always cite your sources!)

--Art -- NOW
In parallel we will have a Show-and-Tell Wing for our modern, relevant creations, organized by their matching original inventions. Expect this to be dominated by, but certainly not limited to, the Steampunk community. Unfortunately, at this point it would be too much to include current fiction. Maybe, if there is interest folks could create a sister-site...

There are a great many non-profit societies, clubs, academic organizations, etc. that have extensive web-sites and resources. Our resource page will try to act as a town-square for such groups, and we also have a growing list of commercial web-site links, with moderated reviews of products and services as well.

This project is firmly based on the idea that when we do what we do for the love of it, we will build with better quality and more creativity. This project will only thrive with the help of volunteers who contribute our time, energy and resources. If you find this site useful, please think about what you can do to help make it better. There is plenty to work out still, and while this site is dedicated to those who do what we do for the love of it, that often means we are looking for where to buy the things we need for our hobbies. To that end, while we will keep the core of Technites.Wiki limited to non-commercial groups and individuals, we will also provide a place for relevant businesses to advertise.

This is a volunteer project, it relies on all of us amateurs not just learning from what others have shared... but paying it back by contributing what we can of our own. For now we are set up as a moderated wiki, anyone can add and edit comment pages. Based on those contributions folks will be invited to join the moderating team to edit and maintain the major pages. If it works well there should even be room for groups to use this as a blogging site for germane subjects.

If you are still reading, then welcome aboard and get busy participating since you must be as dedicated as the rest of us...

In service,


founder and moderator