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"Science fiction is what scientists would do if they could - if they had enough grant money, enough time, and enough brains to do the wonderful things they would like to do."
- Greg Bear

Artificial Gravity  
  Procuring gravitational forces without a suitably large mass.  

This appears to be the first mention of the phrase "artificial gravity" in science fiction (or elsewhere?). As far as I know, this is a reference to gravitational force despite the mention of magnetic force in the control room.

It was near midnight when Snap and I closed and sealed the helio-room and started for the chart-room, where we were to meet with Captain Carter and the other officers. The passengers had nearly all retired. A game was in progress in the smoking room, but the deck was almost deserted.

Snap and I were passing along one of the interior corridors. The stateroom doors, with the illumined names of the passengers, were all closed. The metal grid of the floor echoed our footsteps. Snap was in advance of me. His body suddenly rose in the air. He went like a balloon to the ceiling, struck it gently, and all in a heap came floating down and landed on the floor!

"What in the infernal!--"

He was laughing as he picked himself up. But it was a brief laugh. We knew what had happened: the artificial gravity-controls in the base of the ship, which by magnetic force gave us normality aboard, were being tampered with! For just this instant, this particular small section of this corridor had been cut off. The slight bulk of the Planetara, floating in space, had no appreciable gravity pull on Snap's body, and the impulse of his step as he came to the unmagnetized area of the corridor had thrown him to the ceiling. The area was normal now. Snap and I tested it gingerly.

He gripped me. "That never went wrong by accident, Gregg! Someone down there--"

* * * * *

We rushed to the nearest descending ladder. In the deserted lower room the bank of dials stood neglected. A score of dials and switches were here, governing the magnetism of different areas of the ship. There should have been a night operator, but he was gone.

From Brigands of the Moon, by Ray Cummings.
Published by Astounding Stories of Super Science in 1930
Additional resources -

Compare this scheme for providing a way for people to stay on the floor and off the ceiling in a space station or space craft with the method used in the city of space in Jack Williamson's The Prince of Space (1931).

The references to "magnetic force" probably reflected a belief that, just as it is possible to produce electricity with magnetism, and magnetism with electricity, so it would one day be possible to relate a third force, gravitation, with the better-controlled forces of electricity and magnetism. A hope not borne out by scientific efforts thus far.

Physicist Patrick Blackett formulated a theory of planetary magnetism and gravity in the late 1940's that greatly influenced the thinking of sf writer James Blish; see the discussion in the article on the spindizzy from Blish's 1950's novel City in Flight.

Also, I believe Olaf Stapledon mentions the idea of artificial gravity in this same year, but in a later month of publication.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Brigands of the Moon
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