Heat Ray

First use of what appears to be a laser weapon. (Read the full article)

"there is a better description in chapter 6: Many think that in some way they are able to generate an intense heat in a chamber of practically absolute non-conductivity. This intense heat they project in a parallel beam against any object they choose, by means of a polished parabolic mirror of unknown composition, much as the parabolic mirror of a lighthouse projects a beam of light. But no one has absolutely proved these details. However it is done, it is certain that a beam of heat is the essence of the matter. Heat, and invisible, instead of visible, light. an invisible beam of parallel (coherent) infared light-sounds like a laser to me."
(jim 6/17/2009 10:30:16 PM )
"Garrett P. Serviss’ Edison’s Conquest of Mars, published the same year as The War of the Worlds. Thomas Edison was the book’s hero, and Serviss depicts him traveling to Mars to fight Martians on their home turf with a “disintegrator ray” that Edison himself designed for the book. A passage, Mr. Serviss? I had the good fortune to be present when this powerful engine of destruction was submitted to its first test. We had gone upon the roof of Mr. Edison’s laboratory and the inventor held the little instrument, with its attached mirror, in his hand. We looked about for some object on which to try its powers. On a bare limb of a tree not far away, for it was late fall, sat a disconsolate crow. “Good,” said Mr. Edison, “that will do….” Instantly there was another adjustment of the index, another outshooting of vibratory force, a rapid up and down motion of the index to include a certain range of vibrations, and the crow itself was gone — vanished in empty space! There was the bare twig on which a moment before it had stood. Behind, in sky the, was the white cloud against which its black form had been sharply outlined, but there was no more crow."
(Peter Jacobs 2/2/2011 10:05:36 PM )
"Peter - thanks so much for writing in; I really depend on reader contributions. As it turns out, I already have an entry for this; see Disintegrator from Edison's Conquest of Mars by Garrett P. Serviss."
(Bill Christensen 2/4/2011 6:49:13 AM )

More info on Heat Ray

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