2.1 The Diesel Era and Decodence

Dieselpunk draws its inspiration from two related sources: the diesel era and a characteristic called “decodence.”

The term “diesel era” is a period that begins with the start of the interbellum era, which covers the time between the end of World War I and the beginning of World War II. In addition to the interbellum period, World War II also plays a significant role in dieselpunk. The exact ending of the diesel era is in some dispute in the dieselpunk community. Some consider it to be the conclusion of World War II, while others set it during a landmark event of the 1950s, such as the start of the Korean War or the launch of Sputnik.


1925 Art Deco Fashion photo by Edward Steichen

Another critical aspect of dieselpunk is a characteristic termed “decodence.” According to The Gatehouse, decodence (likely a portmanteau of “deco” and “decadence”) “embraces the styles and technologies of the era; it rejoices in a prolonged Jazz Age ambiance characterized by great enthusiasm and hopes about the future.”

(Updated 01/13/2021)


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