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"The world is really so surreal these days that it's necessary for us to blunt it somehow in order to stay sane. The artist functions to short-circuit the buffering mechanism, so that people can occasionally perceive the weirdness of things as they are."
- William Gibson

Artificial Womb  
  A room in which a human embryo waits for the necessary months as a fetus, preparing for birth (decanting).  

In Brave New World, every possible aid to production is employed to create the next generation of citizens.

...From the Social Predestination Room the escalators went rumbling down into the basement, and there, in the crimson darkness, stewing warm on their cushion of peritoneum and gorged with blood-surrogate and hormones, the foetuses grew and grew or, poisoned, languished into a stunted Epsilonhood. With a faint hum and rattle the moving racks crawled imperceptibly through the weeks and the recapitulated aeons to where, in the Decanting Room, the newly-unbottled babes uttered their first yell of horror and amazement.
From Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley.
Published by Unknown in 1932
Additional resources -

This is the first science-fictional reference (or any other reference, for that matter) to an artificial womb that I can find.

Compare to the procreative stump from Frank Herbert's excellent but neglected 1972 novel Hellstrom's Hive.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Brave New World
  More Ideas and Technology by Aldous Huxley
  Tech news articles related to Brave New World
  Tech news articles related to works by Aldous Huxley

Artificial Womb-related news articles:
  - First Artificial Human Ovary
  - Artificial Wombs - Ectogenesis Technology - Is On The Way
  - The Bioengineered Uterus

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