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

Toaster  
  A handheld beam weapon.  

"But what about hand weapons? Are there any available?"

"You mean toasters?"

"Anything that's lethal."

"Nothing."

Technovelgy from Accidental Flight, by W.F. Wallace.
Published by Galaxy in 1952
Additional resources -

Here are some additional quotes:

"The rocket pilot moved closer. The deadly little toaster was in his hand..."

"He adjusted the toaster beam to an imperceptible thickness. Deftly he sliced through the control case and removed a circular section..."

"Outside, there was the characteristic sputter, like frying, that the toaster beam made when it struck metal..."

"Jordan juggled the toaster. "I can weld with this. Let's put him in a cabin and weld the door closed..."

Compare to the blaster (1925) from When the Green Star Waned by Nictzin Dyalhis, the neutron blaster (1951), from The Complete Paratime, by H. Beam Piper and the heat ray from The War of the Worlds (1898), by H.G. Wells.

Also, see the nuclear shears from Foundation (1951) by Isaac Asimov, the Slaver disintegrator from Ringworld (1970) by Larry Niven, the Lasgun from Dune (1965) by Frank Herbert, and the atomic torch from One Against the Legion (1939) by Jack Williamson.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Accidental Flight
  More Ideas and Technology by W.F. Wallace
  Tech news articles related to Accidental Flight
  Tech news articles related to works by W.F. Wallace

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