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"[Science fiction] is the one literary medium left in which we have a free hand. We can do any damn thing we please."
- Alfred Bester

Spinning Pressurized Drum  
  Put a spin on just a part of a space station.  

This is an early example of this idea; put a spin on just a portion of your space station for artificial gravity.

But most importantly it was a freight and passenger transfer station in space, the place where short-range winged rockets from Earth met the space liners that plied between the planets. For this purpose, it had fueling tanks, machine shops, repair cages that could receive the largest liners and the smallest rockets, and a spinning, pressurized drum - "Goddard House" - which provided artificial gravity and Earth atmosphere for passengers and for the permanent staff of Circum-Terra.

Goddard Hotel stuck out from the side of Circum-Terra like a cartwheel from a pile of junk. The hub on which it turned ran through its center and protruded out into space. It was to this hub that a ship would couple its passenger tube when discharging or loading humans.

From Between Planets, by Robert Heinlein.
Published by Charles Scribner's Sons in 1951
Additional resources -

Fans will note that this is an "enclosed" example of what Jack Williamson called a city of space in 1931 and Dan Simmons called a can city in 1989.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Between Planets
  More Ideas and Technology by Robert Heinlein
  Tech news articles related to Between Planets
  Tech news articles related to works by Robert Heinlein

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