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"Building one space station for everyone was and is insane: we should have built a dozen."
- Larry Niven

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

Alice was much impressed with the automatic-electric packing machines.

The clerk making the sale placed the purchased articles on a metal platform. He then pressed several buttons on a small switchboard, which operated the "size" apparatus to obtain the dimensions of the package. After the last button was pressed, the platform rose about two feet, till it disappeared into a large metal, box-like contrivance. In abut ten to fifteen seconds it came down again bearing on its surface a neat white box with a handle at the top, all in one piece. The box was not fastened with any strings or tape, but was folded in an ingenious manner so that it could not open of its own accord...

The automatic packing machine could pack anything from a small package a few inches square up to a box two feet high by three feet long.

From Ralph 124c 41 +, by Hugo Gernsback.
Published by Modern Electrics in 1911
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