Maybe it's because anything before the Renaissance was Medieval Morons
, everything invented between World War I and World War II was created by the military and everything from 1950 onward was made by corporations or universities, so they need people to build stuff in a setting with technology but nowhere to buy said technology.
Maybe it's because of the sheer number of inventors in the Industrial Revolution, like Tesla, Charles Babbage and George Stephenson.
Maybe it's due to Rule of Cool
For whatever reason, there is often at least one Gadgeteer Genius
or Mad Scientist
in the main cast of any series set in a Steam Punk
or Gaslamp Fantasy
setting. The majority of those don't stop there and make inventors, mad scientists, mechanics, gadgeteers and other masters of technology/Magitek
as common as trees in a forest!
(These may be incorrect, I couldn't remember the works I'd seen that fall under this, so I tried my best to get three examples at least by checking the pages for series with Steam Punk