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"In science fiction one can say a great many things that are unpalatable, … because it's expressed as science fiction you can slip it past their defenses."
- Frederik Pohl

Ether Boat  
  A space craft.  

The "ether" referred to here is not a soporific gas, but rather the theorized transmission medium of light and gravity in the absence of all matter - the emptiness of space.

In the dim interior of an ether boat, two men labored over a pile of rock lumps. They were dressed warmly in sweaters and thick skin-tight trousers. The inner sections of an ether boat were hard to keep warm, especially when the vacuum locks to the outside were used frequently. Every time the lock was opened and the air rushed out, the new air that filled the space when the outer door closed absorbed the intense frigidity of the bare metal wall of the lock chamber. Then, when the inner door to the boat proper was Opened, this frosted air swept in and quickly lowered the average temperature. It was all the electric heaters could do to keep the heat up to just past the freezing point of water.
Technovelgy from Murder on the Asteroid, by Eando Binder.
Published by Wonder Stories in 1933
Additional resources -

More details:

He climbed the short ladder to the pilot room which was a little one man cell whose roof was glass almost as tough and strong as steel. He seated himself in the pilot seat and gazed around with bleary eyes. From this position the pilot commanded the entire view on all sides and also upward...

With a mighty rumble the rear tubes blasted their song Of power and in a graceful arc the little blunt-nosed, cylindrical ether boat left its roosting place. Once safely away from the asteroid, Timothy reset the keyboard for a straight course...

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Murder on the Asteroid
  More Ideas and Technology by Eando Binder
  Tech news articles related to Murder on the Asteroid
  Tech news articles related to works by Eando Binder

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