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"A good science fiction story should be able to predict not the automobile but the traffic jam."
- Frederik Pohl

Death Bath  
  A suicide chamber.  

I know it hurts you to condemn a prolat to the Death Bath, but if you let him go on, his mistakes will bring us all to that end.”

I glanced toward where a black portal broke the circle of switchboards, and shuddered. Behind that grim gate leaped and flared eternally the flame of the consuming Ray, the exhaust flue of the solar energy by which the machines were fed. Once I had seen a condemned man step through that aperture at the order of an aristo whom he had offended. For a moment his tortured body had glowed with a terrible golden light. Then—there was nothing.

From The Revolt of the Machines, by Nat Schachner (w. AL Zagat).
Published by Astounding Stories in 1931
Additional resources -

Here is another quote, showing the device in use.

You have done your work well, you are now no longer needed to control the machines. Therefore,”—he paused, and my heart almost stopped—“therefore, being no longer of value, you will be disposed of.”

A click sounded loud through the stunned silence. Beyond the white crowd the huge black portal slid slowly open. A shimmering radiance of glowing vapors blazed from the space beyond.

“Prolats, file singly into the Death Bath!” Atuna raised his voice only slightly with the command. I glanced at Keston. He was livid with fury.

Incredible as it may seem, so ingrained was the habit of obedience to the aristos in the prolats that not even a murmur of protest came from the condemned beings. The nearest man to the flaming death stepped out into the void. His doomed body flared, then vanished. The next moved to his turn.

Compare to the government lethal chamber from the 1895 story The Repairer of Reputations by Robert W. Chambers.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Revolt of the Machines
  More Ideas and Technology by Nat Schachner (w. AL Zagat)
  Tech news articles related to The Revolt of the Machines
  Tech news articles related to works by Nat Schachner (w. AL Zagat)

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