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)

Spy Ray Goggles - see through walls

Triplanetary (1934)

Standish - a mean beam of energy

Triplanetary (1934)

Super-Weapon - first use of term

Robot Nemesis (1939)

Thought-Screen - stop alien mind control

Gray Lensman (1942)

Tight-Beam - hard to find

Skylark Three (1930)

Tractor Beam - pulling force at a distance

Space Hounds of IPC (1931)

Two-Wheeled Ground Car - gyro-stabilized

First Lensman (1950)


Galactic Patrol (1937)

Ultra-Light Vision System

Space Hounds of IPC (1931)

Ultrawave - FTL communication

Triplanetary (1934)

Vacuum Armor

Skylark Three (1930)


Triplanetary (1934)

Visiplate - early flat panel viewer

Skylark Three (1930)

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