I think the seeds to my writing steampunk were sown very early in my life. My parents did a lot of car travel, and I would loudly demand to visit every museum we passed along the way. Most of them were small, historic houses and such, and even as a child I wallowed in learning about how everyday life worked in different time periods. Moreover, I wanted to experience everything I could. Yes, I whined until I got to ride in the carriage. I was the schoolkid who volunteered to churn butter. I wanted to see and feel and touch. Only now is some of this early experience coming in handy as I write.
My two local steampunk groups are big on museum visits. With Capitol Steam out of Lansing, I’ve invaded the Michigan Historical Museum and the RE Olds (as in Oldsmobile) museum as well as having tea in a historic mansion. With the Detroti area Steampunk group, we annually visit the Henry Ford Museum and its outdoor counterpart Greenfield Village and we’ve also dropped in on (in costume, of course) the Detroit Historical Museum. Not only are these adventures a load of fun, but every single time, I still learn something new.
So any favorite museums? Or other fun methods of research?