As nice as it would be to include some early elements of steampunk (which I adore as a Humanities discipline, and which should get enormous amounts of academic respect) in this project, I don't think I can get away with too much. I would certainly like to show the accoutrements of the dogs in a way that suggests steampunk. Why not?
It's not like it wouldn't have some practical historical application:
Meanwhile, the US inventor Robert Fulton, who would build the first commercial steamship in 1807, gets financial backing from Napoleon to develop the Nautilus, a submersible warship or submarine. Powered by a mechanical crank, it is intended to be used to attach explosive devices to the hulls of enemy ships. Although Fulton's submarine succeeds in tests in 1801, it can't keep up with normal ships. When Napoleon decides the French navy cannot make any practical use of the Nautilus, Fulton tries the British, who also reject it despite another successful test demonstration.Good enough for me. Steampunk is a go.