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"We [science fiction writers] always wanted to believe in "private sector" space -- hucksters make better characters than a government does."
- Larry Niven

Vacuum Suit  
  An early description of a space suit.  

How to survive the rigors of airless space?

They were wearing vacuum suits and were very short and stocky, giving the impression of enormous strength.
From Skylark Three, by E.E. 'Doc' Smith.
Published by Amazing Stories in 1930
Additional resources -

Here's another quote Using this phrase from Diamond Planetoid (1939) by Gordon Giles:

...he zippered shut his neck-piece.

He stood still while Welton fitted the glassite helmet over his head and smeared instant-drying rubber cement over the zipper runs at the shoulders and neck. After clamping an oxygen bottle to Osgood's back and connecting the triple tubes, Welton came around to the front of the grotesque figure in micromesh rubberized silk...

Welton watched the bloated vacuum suit, inhabited by his friend, crawl slowly and carefully over the microbe world of rock. He looked like a gigantic black frog in the dull Saturn shine.

For purposes of comparison, check out the space-suit from 'Doc' Smith's 1928 novel Skylark of Space and the air-tight suit from Garrett Serviss' 1898 story Edison's Conquest of Mars.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Skylark Three
  More Ideas and Technology by E.E. 'Doc' Smith
  Tech news articles related to Skylark Three
  Tech news articles related to works by E.E. 'Doc' Smith

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