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"The whole problem of energy sources is going to be solved by little solutions, not by some big new piece of technology that does everything. We got into this crisis by believing that we had one big piece of technology that would do everything (oil)."
- Gregory Benford

Artificial Transparent Element  
  A substance as strong as metal that you can see through.  

Windows of an artificial transparent element, scarcely less strong than the metal of the hull, enabled the voyagers to look around them.
From Last and First Men, by Olaf Stapledon.
Published by Not known in 1930
Additional resources -

This is an obvious precursor to the idea with which all Star Trek fans are familiar, that of "transparent aluminum".

Also, it turns out that the helio-beryllium from Out Around Rigel, a 1931 story by Robert H. Wilson, also has a transparent variant.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Last and First Men
  More Ideas and Technology by Olaf Stapledon
  Tech news articles related to Last and First Men
  Tech news articles related to works by Olaf Stapledon

Artificial Transparent Element-related news articles:
  - Transparent Aluminum Vs. .50-Cal Bullets
  - New Glass Tough As Steel

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