If you don't know about Steampunk already, you will do by the end of this post.
I discovered the concept through Girl Genius, a beautiful plot-driven webcomic that I thoroughly recommend. The best description of that I've found is this:
Steampunk is Victorian elegance and modern technology: steam-driven robots, souped-up stagecoaches, and space-faring dirigibles fueled by gaslight romance, mad scientists, and oh-so-trim waistcoats. It’s The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, 10,000 Leagues Under the Sea, The Wizard of Oz, and The Golden Compass. Replete with whimsical mechanical wonders and bold adventurers...
Because I love you too much to subject you to many thousands of words, here instead are many pictures that hopefully explain why I'm so fascinated with it.
Basically, it's brass, it's cogs, it's battered and beautiful.