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"The answer to the problem of information overload on the Net is reputations… engineer a system called a reputation server."
- Neal Stephenson

Time Machine  
  A device allowing the rider to move freely in the temporal dimension, just as we ordinarily do in the two physical dimensions normal to gravity.  

`But the great difficulty is this,' interrupted the Psychologist. `You CAN move about in all directions of Space, but you cannot move about in Time.' `That is the germ of my great discovery. But you are wrong to say that we cannot move about in Time. For instance, if I am recalling an incident very vividly I go back to the instant of its occurrence: I become absent-minded, as you say. I jump back for a moment. Of course we have no means of staying back for any length of Time, any more than a savage or an animal has of staying six feet above the ground. But a civilized man is better off than the savage in this respect. He can go up against gravitation in a balloon, and why should he not hope that ultimately he may be able to stop or accelerate his drift along the Time-Dimension, or even turn about and travel the other way?'

The thing the Time Traveller held in his hand was a glittering metallic framework, scarcely larger than a small clock, and very delicately made. There was ivory in it, and some transparent crystalline substance. And now I must be explicit, for this that follows--unless his explanation is to be accepted--is an absolutely unaccountable thing. He took one of the small octagonal tables that were scattered about the room, and set it in front of the fire, with two legs on the hearthrug. On this table he placed the mechanism. Then he drew up a chair, and sat down. The only other object on the table was a small shaded lamp, the bright light of which fell upon the model. There were also perhaps a dozen candles about, two in brass candlesticks upon the mantel and several in sconces, so that the room was brilliantly illuminated...

`This little affair,' said the Time Traveller, resting his elbows upon the table and pressing his hands together above the apparatus, `is only a model. It is my plan for a machine to travel through time. You will notice that it looks singularly askew, and that there is an odd twinkling appearance about this bar, as though it was in some way unreal.' He pointed to the part with his finger. `Also, here is one little white lever, and here is another....'

`Now I want you clearly to understand that this lever, being pressed over, sends the machine gliding into the future, and this other reverses the motion. This saddle represents the seat of a time traveller. Presently I am going to press the lever, and off the machine will go. It will vanish, pass into future Time, and disappear.

And turning to the Psychologist, he took that individual's hand in his own and told him to put out his forefinger. So that it was the Psychologist himself who sent forth the model Time Machine on its interminable voyage. We all saw the lever turn. I am absolutely certain there was no trickery. There was a breath of wind, and the lamp flame jumped. One of the candles on the mantel was blown out, and the little machine suddenly swung round, became indistinct, was seen as a ghost for a second perhaps, as an eddy of faintly glittering brass and ivory; and it was gone--vanished! Save for the lamp the table was bare.

From The Time Machine, by H.G. Wells.
Published by Henry Holt and Company in 1895
Additional resources -

L. Sprague deCamp wrote an enjoyable non-fiction piece on the way that language changes over time; see Language for Time-Travelers.


('Language of Time Travelers' by L. Sprague de Camp)

Compare to the the Dutch clock from The Clock That Went Backward (1881) by Edward Page Mitchell, the Anachronopete from El Anachronopete (1887) by Enrique Gaspar, precogs from The Minority Report (1956) by Philip K. Dick, the chronoscope from Legion of Time (1938) by Jack Williamson, and the time-telespectroscope from The Exile of Time (1931) by Ray Cummings.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Time Machine
  More Ideas and Technology by H.G. Wells
  Tech news articles related to The Time Machine
  Tech news articles related to works by H.G. Wells

Time Machine-related news articles:
  - Doughnut-Shaped Time Machine

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