E.E. 'Doc' Smith:
Science Fiction Technology and Ideas
Edward Elmer Smith (1890-1965) was the science fiction author who wrote the Lensman series and the Skylark series. He was born in Idaho; he received his doctorate in Chemical Engineering from George Washington University in 1919. He worked as a 'food technologist' for the Dawn Doughnut Company, then worked for the US Army from 1941-1945. His novels are considered by most fans to be the progenitors of the 'space opera' genre; Smith himself stated that he preferred to invent fictional technologies that are not strictly impossible.
Invention/Technology Source Work (Publication Date)

Flying Wing - Northrup's all-metal dream
A V-shaped plane capable of flight to the edge of the atmosphere.

Triplanetary (1934)

Fontema
A strange two 'wheeled' animal.

First Lensman (1950)

Groundcar (or Ground Car) - the old-fashioned present
A non-skimming, non-flying vehicle.

Galactic Patrol (1937)

Inertialess Drive
Faster-than-light travel achieved!

Triplanetary (1934)

Ingestible Communication Capsule - only in emergencies
A tiny transmitter that can be swallowed, which makes possible voice communication.

Triplanetary (1934)

Invisibility Shield
A means of concealing a physical object to the naked eye.

Triplanetary (1934)

Lewiston
Standard blaster pistol with terrifying power.

Triplanetary (1934)

Leybyrdite - Perfect for space axes
Extremely tough crystalline metal.

Subspace Explorers (1965)

Lifeboat
A small space-worthy craft that can be jettisoned from a larger ship, to save its crew.

Spacehounds of IPC (1931)

Manual Search For Habitable Planet
A tedious search for habitable planets by hand.

Skylark of Valeron (1934)

Matched-Frequency Separable Units
Devices that can draw power wirelessly from a matched source.

Skylark Three (1930)

Moving a Planet - early use of idea
Early use of the concept of moving a planet to a new sun.

Triplanetary (1934)

Needle-Ray
Very thin beam of destruction.

Skylark of Valeron (1934)

Negative Acceleration
Turning a torchship through a half-circle, thereby applying force in the direction of motion, slowing the ship down.

Skylark of Space (1928)

Neutronium - how dense is it
Extremely dense material.

Skylark Three (1930)

Pentavalent Nitrogen - most powerful chemical explosive.
A high explosive formed from nitrogen.

Spacehounds of IPC (1931)

Platinum Alloy Disc - first CD or DVD?
A silvery disc used for data record storage.

Triplanetary (1934)

Pressor (Pressor Beam) - push not pull
A force-field beam that pushes, rather than pulls.

Spacehounds of IPC (1931)

Pressure-Suit
A pressurized suit for use in the airless void of space.

Skylark of Space (1928)

Protective Shield - personal force field
An energy shield for one person.

Triplanetary (1934)

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