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"Science Fiction is speculative fiction in which the author takes as his first postulate the real world as we know it, including all established facts and natural laws."
- Robert Heinlein

Mechanical Thought Transformers  
  Machinery to expedite the process of thought transfer.  

You may be perfectly able to communicate telepathically, but what if you encounter primitive races who are unable to do so? Check the museum for those old-fashioned mechanical thought transformers.

Knowing the futility of attempting to converse with them without mechanical aid, Geble caused to be brought her three of the ancient mechanical thought transformers that are only museum pieces to us but still workable. The two men were directed to place them on their heads while she donned the third.
From The Conquest of Gola, by L.F. Stone.
Published by Wonder Stories in 1931
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  - Silent Talk 'Telepathy' For Soldiers

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