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"There was a time when one old eccentric guy with a notebook could do something important to science. Now even the resources of a major university are often not enough."
- Jerry Pournelle

Gravity Neutralizing Disks  
  Two plates between which Earth's gravitational influence is cancelled out.  

These gravity neutralizing disks are necessary for Fessenden's creation of a miniature universe in his lab.

It consisted of two twelve-foot metal disks with grid-like surfaces, one on the floor and one on the ceiling directly over the other. They were connected by cables to the electrical machinery, and their grid-like surfaces shone faintly with wan blue light or force.

Fessenden walked over to the thing and motioned calmly toward the blue-glowing disks in floor and ceiling. These disks, Bradley, neutralize all the ordinary gravitational forces of earth in the space between them.

"What?" I cried, astonished. I stepped forward, was about to thrust my hand between the two disks to test the assertion. But Fessenden held me back.

"Don't try that," he warned. "The human body is accustomed to earth's gravitation, and is inwardly braced against it. If you were to step between those disks, out of earth's gravitation, your body would explode from its own inward pressure..."

From Fessenden's Worlds, by Edmond Hamilton.
Published by Weird Tales in 1937
Additional resources -

Hamilton was something of a child prodigy; he started college at 14, but quit three years later. If he had stayed in a bit longer, he might have been able to distinguish between the force of gravity and the force applied to our bodies by air pressure.

This is an interesting predecessor to the sleeping plates that Larry Niven wrote about.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Fessenden's Worlds
  More Ideas and Technology by Edmond Hamilton
  Tech news articles related to Fessenden's Worlds
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