Art Deco keyboard

Jeffrey Stephenson, maker of extraordinary wooden PC enclosures, writes in that Datamancer's turned 20th century.
My friend Richard Nagy (aka Datamancer) is famous for his Steampunk creations. Well, I think the Steampunk fad may have run its ourse. He has come over to the dark side and created an Art Deco keyboard.
And what a beauty it is! Datamancer Deco Keyboard [Datamancer]

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18 Responses to Art Deco keyboard

  1. Jake0748 says:

    Jeeves would be quite pleased with this.

  2. grimc says:


    Good call. And the only other thing I’d add is that the three lights should be jewel-cut types.

    Regardless: WANT.

  3. jonathanpeterson says:

    Now THAT is where it’s at. Steampunk is so Edgar Rice Borroughs – so victorian, so english.

    Black tie and and cocktails, jazz, America, chrome, bakelite and black wrinkle paint, dirigibles docking at the top of the Chrysler building – now THAT’s the age, I want to live in.


  4. OM says:

    “OM, that is fascinating. Do you have a author/title I could look up for more info?”

    …Shelby, I wish I did. The majority of info I have on Art Deco was gathered together about 10 years ago for a website design project I’d been contracted to do. The client wanted a 30’s-style Art Deco look to his site – he was an antiques trader specializing in old Art Deco radios – and up to that time the only book I had was Bevis Hillier’s 1968 book Art Deco of the 20s and 30s, the book that actually coined the term “Art Deco” for the masses, a VHS copy of Metropolis and Things to Come, and a couple of books dedicated to Frank Lloyd Wright. The local library had scant little on the topic, so I contacted a few local architects who’d done some recent buildings in Art Deco style to see what they had to recommend. One in particular I’m still doing a website for one of his side businesses, and he’s the one who first clued me in on why Art Nouveau died off during WWII, and why it basically stayed dead when the cost issues were on the verge of being non-issues: the association with the Third Reich’s style of choice. Two other architects repeated the story, and suggested a couple of books that would have helped had I been able to locate them. If I still had my notes from that project, I’d gladly pass on the titles and authors. As it is, the only one I can remember was by Pat Bayer called Art Deco Architecture & Design, and from what I’ve heard it would have been a great book to read had I been able to find a copy.

    …One other book that I can suggest is Unbuilding, which is essentially an analysis of the Empire State Building as it’s being torn down to be shipped to the Middle East after it’s been bought by some rich OPEC oil sheihk. While more into the how it was built as opposed to why it looks the way it does, the book still touched on the style and how it influenced the construction.

  5. dculberson says:

    Grimc, you’re right, and they actually might be jewel cut, I just can’t tell from the provided photos. If not, I have some I could give him. ;-)

    ACB, I haven’t made the Art Deco -> Ayn Rand connection yet; is it because of the book covers or what?

  6. hadlock says:

    This keyboard would be 100% cooler if those endcaps were bakelite. Are they bakelite? If so, I’d probably have heard about it and already be ranting about it here, typing on it.

  7. Shelby Davis says:

    OM, that is fascinating. Do you have a author/title I could look up for more info?

  8. strider_mt2k says:

    Oh you kid!

  9. Scuba SM says:

    He beat me to it. I actually have all the parts in my workshop right now. Dang.

  10. strider_mt2k says:

    Seriously, it is quite nice.
    I like it best so far.

  11. acb says:

    That looks pretty awesome.

    Problem with Art Deco that, as gorgeous as it looks, it has absorbed some unsavoury connotations. A bakelite radio here, a few shell-shaped uplights and a Tamara Lempincka print there, and soon enough people think you’re some kind of Ayn Rand nut.

    Still, it would be great if they started making gadgets in Art Deco-style designs.

  12. redsquares says:

    Finally, Diesel Punk.

    *Slides into Suit*
    *Dons Hat*
    *Clouds Minds*

    I am ready, are you, Miss Lane?

  13. entropy says:

    Perhaps i am showing my ignorance but couldn’t this be classified in the steampunk style? Perhaps the missing link between steampunk and decopunk? (sorry scissorfighter!)

  14. Shelby Davis says:

    Gor-ge-ous. I second the first post, I like Steampunk, but I like Deco much better than Victorian styles. This rocks.

    (on a side note, I’m doing an Art Nouveau casemod on a reed organ at the moment–any ideas on what that’s supposed to be called? Punknouveau?)

  15. Anonymous says:

    I’ve always loved Art Deco.
    I hate the modern obsession with making all of your electronics and gadgets sleek and unobtrusive. “Look, my gadgets are so fancy it looks like I don’t have any at all!”
    I love these things that bring me so much joy. I want them front and center, occupying space and attention, and captivating and enthralling with their beauty and craftsmanship.
    Steampunk, with the brass and wood and leather has always been an interesting way to achieve this too.

  16. chroma says:

    Needs more Bakelite.

  17. scissorfighter says:

    Most excellent. Not only in that it’s a great piece of work, but also in that it may signal an end to that ridiculous “steampunk” fad. Let’s just hope it doesn’t start an equally foolish “decopunk” fad.

  18. OM says:

    …I’ll jump on this like white on rice! I’ve gotten so sick of Steampunk that I’m 193.4% in agreement that it’s time for Art Nuoveau/Deco to stage a comeback. Most people don’t realize that the sole reason the predominant style of the 20’s and early 30’s dropped out of favor had very little to do with the higher costs involved over more “traditional” styles. It all had to do with the fact that the Nazis took Art Deco as their own official style of choice. Some architectural historians have argued that Suburbia was more of an attempt to createa a futuristic style to replace Art Deco totally than to simply concoct something that fit the new “Atomic Age”.

    Steampunk is dead! Long live Art Deco!

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