Ralph 124c 41 + by Hugo Gernsback:
Science Fiction Inventions, Technology and Ideas

Ralph 124c 41 + was originally self-published as a serial in Gernsback's own Modern Electrics magazine in 1911. It was collected and published again Amazing Stories in 1925. It really lives up to the name "scientifiction" (Gernsback's name for this kind of literature). The story is relatively simple; Ralph 124c 41 +, one of the ten most brilliant scientists on Earth, falls in love with a beautiful young woman, and saves her from evil. This story really is an sf classic. Select an invention:

Actinoscope
A device that used a pulsating polarized ether wave to judge the distance to an object (a RADAR)

Aeroflyer
A flying car.

Alohydrolium
The lightest metal.

Automatic-Electric Packing Machine
A device able to pack randomly shaped objects combined into a single package automatically.

Detectophone - machine translation of language
First use of the idea of a voice-activated machine.

Hypnobioscope - learn while you sleep
The first fictional reference to sleep teaching.

Iridium Spirals (Street Lights)
Streetlights provide sunlight at night.

Language Rectifier early reference to machine translation
The first reference to machine-translation of human languages.

Personalized News
First reference to news that is customized to the needs of each individual subscriber.

Space-Sick
Uneasiness associated with space travel.

Steelonium - very early reference
A remarkable kind of steel that did not rust or corrode.

Sub-Atlantic Tube - undersea tunnel
A tunnel under the ocean; the shortest distance between the two points.

Telautograph
First fictional reference to a fax machine.

Tele-Motor-Coasters - power skates
Powered skates for personal transportation.

Telephot - early videophone
A device that combined the functions of telephone and television; a phone with a screen.

 

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