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"I am not a speed reader. I am a speed understander."
- Isaac Asimov

Air-Tight Suit  
  An special outfit that would allow a person to survive in vacuum.  

This is a very early reference to the idea of a spacesuit.

While it was the intention to remain as much as possible within the cars, yet since it was probable that necessity would arise for occasionally quitting the interior of the electrical ships, Mr. Edison had provided for this emergency by inventing an air-tight dress constructed somewhat after the manner of a diver's suit, but of much lighter material. Each ship was provided with several of these suits, by wearing which one could venture outside the car even when it was beyond the atmosphere of the earth...

From Edison's Conquest of Mars, by Garrett P. Serviss.
Published by New York Evening Journal in 1898
Additional resources -

Here's an example of the use of the phrase "air-tight suit" in the novel:

I had stepped outside the car with Lord Kelvin, both of us, of course, wearing our air-tight suits.

The suit was also heated, and had its own supply of air, when disconnected from the spacecraft itself:

Provision had been made to meet the terrific cold which we knew would be encountered the moment we had passed beyond the atmosphere—that awful absolute zero which men had measured by anticipation, but never yet experienced—by a simple system of producing within the air-tight suits a temperature sufficiently elevated to counteract the effects of the frigidity without. By means of long, flexible tubes, air could be continually supplied to the wearers of the suits, and by an ingenious contrivance a store of compressed air sufficient to last for several hours was provided for each suit, so that in case of necessity the wearer could throw off the tubes connecting him with the air tanks in the car...

Just a few years later, the French movie La Voyage Dans La Lune depicted space suits consisting of conical caps, neck ruffles, and dark robes.


(La Voyage Dans La Lune 1904)

The vacuum of space was still being explained in 1929, as in The War of the Planets by Harl Vincent:

“But,” interrupted the Secretary, “how were you able to pass from one vessel to the other when both were in the vacuum of outer space?”

“I was enclosed in an air-tight suit with an oxygen supply system as was the observer on the deck of the enemy ship,” the professor replied...

Compare to these other early space suit references; the breathing dress from Honeymoon in Space (1901) by George Griffiths, the pneumatic suit from The Shot into Infinity (1929) by Otto Willi Gail, the space suit from The Emperor of the Stars (1931) by Schachner and Zagat, the altitude suit from The Black Star Passes by John W. Campbell, the Osprey Space Armor from Salvage in Space (1933) by Jack Williamson and the space overalls from Lost Rocket (1941) by Manly Wade Wellman.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Edison's Conquest of Mars
  More Ideas and Technology by Garrett P. Serviss
  Tech news articles related to Edison's Conquest of Mars
  Tech news articles related to works by Garrett P. Serviss

Air-Tight Suit-related news articles:
  - NASA's Reconfigurable Space Suit
  - Building A Better Space Suit - The Biosuit
  - MIT's Latest Biosuit For Fashionable Astronauts

Articles related to Space Tech
Spaceships Should Last So Long
Space Station Shutters
MIT Proposes Space Bubbles To Combat Climate Change, Misses The Point Of Space Bubbles
Study Reveals Effect Of Space Travel On The Brain

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