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THE WORLD (cont...)

ii.  Electricity Pioneers’ Tragedy

A tragedy occurred at the Paris World Fair in 1867. All the pioneers in electricity were there, including Swan, Tesla and Edison, attending a demonstration of Edison’s electric light when it exploded, blowing up the entire pavilion, killing all the participants. This set back the invention of electricity for decades. No-one claimed responsibility for causing this tragic occurrence but at the time there were reports of a tall, thin, shadowy figure slinking from the scene.

By 1888 when the Della Mortika sisters are in Melbourne, electricity has still not been invented, although there are rumours that brilliant inventors (who reportedly are on their way to the Antipodean World Exposition that year) are working on a secret new power source. Slanderous stories are going around Melbourne that that power is what is known as “electrickery.”


One highly important consequence of these two happenings is that the Victorian era became much more advanced technically. This was accompanied by greater interest in innovation and invention. So much so, in fact, was this the case that even the Queen and her Albert were immersed in invention. 





i. A world of elegance and excellence in engineering design

The Della Mortika World is a result of 150 years of invention and mechanical and steam-powered industry. This has produced a society that is rich in engineering excellence:

  • Clockwork mechanics has been refined and expanded to produce amazing mechanical contraptions, from tiny watches to large wind-up vehicular items. Spring technology has progressed to great heights, with huge amounts of energy able to be stored therein.
  • Mechanical and computing machines are well advanced. Charles Babbage had received extensive royal backing for his analytical machine and so was able to build and improve his technology, so that it was greatly advanced in this world.
  • Steam power has progressed, to not only drive machines for industry, but also to drive many and diverse machines inspired by :
    • da Vinci, such as flying machines,
    • della Porta, such as high pressure boilers
    • Stevenson, such as the locomotive
    • Babbage, such as the difference engine
    • Zeppelin, such as the dirigible
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