Steampunk tech mods: A 19th-century take on 21st-century PCs and gadgets

If Sherlock Holmes -- or Jack the Ripper -- had owned our technology, his equipment might have looked like this.

Friedrich Ambience Enhancer

You can enhance the ambience of any location through the judicious application of "Musical Programme Type Threes" (MP3s) directly into your aural tympanum. Why endure the cacophany of a 21st-century city when you can listen instead to Gilbert and Sullivan?

Molly Michelle Friedrich made the headphones of her Ambience Enhancer first. She combined the working parts of a Sony MDR-006 (which she found at a bus stop) with a pair of vintage Cannonball Empire headphones purchased on eBay. "They sound great!"

But such headphones want to be plugged into something aesthetically pleasing. So Friedrich sewed a cover for her Sansa 2GB MP3 player; added leather, brass, and a strap; and had a music player that she could elegantly wear.

Friedrich is a professional artist living "mostly" in Seattle. She describes her favorite music as "Bavarian yak herding music played on electric zither." She works primarily in jewelry, much of it with a Steampunk theme. You'll find her work at

Photo: Courtesy of Molly Michelle Friedrich,

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