Nachtstuten von Frankenstein by Brett King

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The Beast

While living in Germany, aviation pioneer Gustave Whitehead claimed to have discovered lost notes of Victor Frankenstein, which detailed how to reanimate a horse, a predecessor to Frankenstein’s work with human corpses.

Gustave later moved to Pittsburgh, where he was purportedly working on creating a flying steed as a means of achieving human flight. He is said to have re-animated 3 dead horses for his experiments. He outfitted the terrifying creatures with lightweight steam engines of his own design, which powered canvas bat-like wings attached to their backs. The engines were powered by feeding hot coals into a tube in the horses’ throats.

He named the creatures Nachtstuten von Frankenstein, the night mares of Frankenstein.

In 1898, according to Whitehead, the mares learned to start their own steam engines by stealing coals from his forge. In the process, his workshop and the attached stables were set ablaze. All of his records were lost, and the Nachstuten flew off into the night sky, spewing fire from their mouths. There have been sightings reported of the Nachstuten flying though the smoke of the steel mills in Pittsburgh.

After this, Whitehead decided to focus on airplanes as a more reliable form of transportation.


The Artist

Brett King is an award-winning steampunk maker and costumer from North Carolina who appears at steampunk and maker events around the country. He works in diverse media, including drawing, painting, sculpting, found-objects, kinetic art, and costuming. One common thread in Brett’s art is storytelling. He is always trying to connect with his audience, and much of his work is interactive. Steampunk lends itself particularly well to interactive storytelling, and it is his favorite genre. Brett developed his love of storytelling through many years of playing Dungeons and Dragons, and it continues to have an influence on his work.

When he isn’t creating his own art, Brett is busy thinking of new ways to bring interesting, creative people together. He has helped organize many conventions, and he founded AutomataCon, the first convention for automata artists and enthusiasts, which he hosts every other year in New Jersey.

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