One of the saddest stories I very heard is about an inventor. He spent his life working and working hard to develop a machine to peel tomatoes. For a farmer this is a big thing.
The inventor worked all his spare time on the project. He invested a lot of his money into the machine.
When the inventor passed away his widow took the working machine to a lawyer hoping to get some money for her retirement.
After a short time the lawyer came back. He told the widow that the device was commercially worthless. Commercial canners use acid to peel tomatoes.
One of the biggest winners is Edison. Not for developing the light bulb or electrical power distribution.
One day Edison walked into the offices of Scientific American carrying a machine. It was the first phonograph. What’s so special about a record player? Unlike the light bulb or the telegraph equipment Edison developed, the phonograph did not have dozens or hundreds of other inventors or scientists working on the problem of recording sound. You could call the phonograph an invention out of no where. It was not a incremental development of something others were working on like the light bulb.
As a side note Edison felt that the phonograph would become a great education device. Even the most remote and the poorest school could play lectures from the best teachers and leaders in any field. He did not see it becoming a toy and entertainment device. He underestimated how cheap the politicians would be at funding schools and how hide bound teachers could be.
If you’re writing about a steampunk inventor have him working on a problem that needs to be solved. And have him well versed in the problem and familiar with others working on the problem.
A salad with bacon.
If you’re having a salad to lose weight, you’re doing great. Don’t tease yourself, reward yourself. Skip the bacon bits and have a full slice of bacon. It’s a guilty pleasure.
Stay strong, write on, and maybe have two slices.
Professor Hyram Voltage