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"The first thing that's wrong with being a science-fiction writer today is that the present has caught up with the future and surpassed it."
- Peter Watts

Ultra-Telescope Ray  
  A transporter Ray that works over interplanetary distances.  

Very early mention of the idea of a transporter beam that works over very long distances.

Bart squinted through the eyepiece and saw a huge crater with a shadowed spire in its center. Like a shell hole in soft earth it appeared—a great splash that had congealed immediately it was made. The cross-hairs of the eyepiece were centered on a small circular shadow near its inner rim.

"That," Van was saying, "is a prominent crater near the Mare Nubium. The spot under the cross-hairs is that from which I have obtained the diamonds—and other things. Watch this now, Bart."

The young broker straightened up and saw that his friend was removing the cover from a crystal bowl that was attached to the lower end of the copper tube that pointed to the heavens at the same ascension and declination as the telescope. The air of the room vibrated to a strange energy when he closed a switch that lighted a dozen vacuum tubes in the apparatus that lined the wall.

"You say you bring the stuff here with a light ray?" he asked.

"No, I said with the speed of light. This tube projects a ray of vibrations—like directional radio, you know—and this ray has a component that disintegrates the object it strikes and brings it back to us as dissociated protons and electrons which are reassembled in the original form and structure in this crystal bowl. Watch."

A misty brilliance filled the bowl's interior. Intangible shadowy forms seemed to be taking shape within a swirling maze of ethereal light that hummed and crackled with astounding vigor. Then, abruptly, the apparatus was silent and the light gone, revealing an odd object that had taken form in the bowl.

"A starfish!" Bart gasped.

"Yeah, and fossilized." Van handed it to him and he took it in his fingers gingerly as if expecting it to burn them.

From The Moon Weed, by Harl Vincent.
Published by Astounding Stories in 1931
Additional resources -

Compare to the Photoelectric Telescope (Photoelectric Eyes) from The Cometeers (1936) by Jack Williamson, the Liquid Mirror Telescope from Old Faithful (1934) by Raymond Z. Gallun, the electro-telescope from Blood of the Moon (1936) by Ray Cummings, the hyperspace beacon from The Repairman (1959) by Harry Harrison, and the robot observatory from Space Rating (1939) by John Berryman.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Moon Weed
  More Ideas and Technology by Harl Vincent
  Tech news articles related to The Moon Weed
  Tech news articles related to works by Harl Vincent

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