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" I sometimes suspect that we're seeing something in the Internet as significant as the birth of cities. It's really something new, it's a new kind of civilization."
- William Gibson

Instant Customized Clothing  
  A machine that produced a selected item of clothing, on the spot, based on customer demand.  

He sat himself down in a sales cubicle and dialed the code number for kilts. He let the pictures of cloth designs flicker past his eyes while he let the persuasive voice of the catalog drone on until a pattern showed up which was distinctly unmilitary and not blue, whereupon he arrested the display and punched the combination for his size.

The plain blue uniform kilt he stuffed in the refuse hopper of the sales cubicle and left, nattily and somewhat flamboyantly attired.


(Astounding cover, 1941)

From Methuselah's Children, by Robert Heinlein.
Published by Astounding Science-Fiction in 1941
Additional resources -

There is an interesting correspondence between the functionality of this device, and the matter compilers shown elsewhere. It is not clear how the device functions; suffice it to say that Heinlein looked ahead to a point in time where the manufacture of customized, to-order clothing was practical.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Methuselah's Children
  More Ideas and Technology by Robert Heinlein
  Tech news articles related to Methuselah's Children
  Tech news articles related to works by Robert Heinlein

Instant Customized Clothing-related news articles:
  - 3D Printed Clothing 'Escapism' Couture Collection

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