tractor ray n.

= tractor beam n.

  • 1931 E. E. Smith Spacehounds of IPC in Amazing Stories Sept. 544/2 page image Edward E. Smith bibliography

    There is such a thing as a ray-screen, you kill-joy, and there are also lifting or tractor rays—two things I've been trying to dope out and that you've been giving me the Bronx cheer on.

  • 1940 ‘R. Rocklynne’ Into Darkness in Astonishing Stories June 63/1 page image Ross Rocklynne

    Then he took the planet up in a tractor ray, and swung it around and around, as he now so vividly recalled doing in his childhood.

  • 1943 G. Waldeyer Answer Out Of Space in Science Fiction July 101/1 page image

    Perhaps its path cannot be changed, and it is headed for this city. If so, I can use Bill Johnson’s landing drome, send out a tractor ray and bring it in.

  • 1958 A. Budrys Edge of Sea in Venture Science Fiction Mar. 22/1 page image Algis Budrys bibliography

    The thing in the water stirred, and they could see the rocks move. ‘Tractor rays,’ the professor said in a husky voice. ‘Theoretically impossible.’

  • 1969 ‘P. A. Chapdelaine’ Brood World Barbarian in Worlds of If Sept. 6/1 page image Perry A. Chapdelaine bibliography

    First came the retinue of sycophants and guards. Cloaked in tight plastic of weblon to nullify pressor and tractor rays, they stationed themselves to one side of my cage.

  • 2006 S. A. Hoyt Go Tell Spartans in Millennium 3001 150 page image Sarah A. Hoyt bibliography

    The quality of the light around me changed. It somehow jelled into a shape-form. Until I felt it restrain my arms, I didn’t realize it was a tractor ray. And then it was too late to protest.


Research requirements

antedating 1931

Earliest cite

Doc Smith, in Amazing Stories

Research History
Mike Christie submitted a cite from a 1979 reprint of Ross Rocklynne's "Into the Darkness"; Jesse Sheidlower verified it in the first printing in Astonishing Stories, June, 1940.
Katrina Campbell submitted a cite from a 1976 reprint of Algis Budrys's 1958 "The Edge of the Sea"; Mike Christie verified it in the original publication.
Fred Galvin submitted a 1943 cite from Graph Waldeyer's "The Answer Out of Space".
Fred Galvin submitted a 1942 cite from Ross Rocklynne's "Abyss of Darkness".
Fred Galvin submitted a cite from the Gutenberg etext edition of E.E. Smith's "Triplanetary"; we would like to verify this in the original publication in Amazing Stories, Feb. 1934.
Jesse Sheidlower submitted a 1931 cite from Doc Smith in Amazing Stories.
Ben Ostrowsky submitted a 2006 cite from Sarah Hoyt.

Last modified 2021-11-30 12:48:06
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.