gravity plate n.

a device that creates or nullifies the effects of gravity


  • 1930 R. Cummings Brigands of the Moon in Astounding Stories of Super Science Mar. 343/2 page image Ray Cummings bibliography

    The Planetara was turning. The heavens revolved in a great round sweep of movement, then settled as we took our new course. Hahn at the turret controls had swung us. The earth and the sun showed over our bow quarter. The sunlight mingled red-yellow with the brilliant starlight. Hahn’s signals were sounding; I heard them answered from the mechanism rooms down below. Brigands there—in full control. The gravity plates were being set to the new positions; we were on our new course. Headed a point or two off the Earth-line.

  • 1932 R. Cummings Wandl, the Invader in Astounding Stories 201/1 page image Ray Cummings bibliography

    The bow gravity-plates slid into the repulsive-force positions.

  • 1933 J. Williamson Salvage in Space in Astounding Stories Mar. 20/2 page image Jack Williamson bibliography

    The creature’s body was so heavy that Thad had to return to the bridge, and shut off the current in the gravity plates along the keel, before he could move it.

  • 1936 ‘˜G. Wilson’™ Earth-Venus 12 in Thrilling Wonder Stories Dec. 104/2 page image Ray Cummings bibliography

    An hour’s ascent, with our rocket-tails streaming like a comet behind us; then we shut them off, with the gravity plates set for Earth repulsion and the Moon to pull us on the first leg of the flight.

  • 1940 H. Kuttner Reverse Atom in Thrilling Wonder Stories Nov. 43/1 page image Henry Kuttner bibliography

    Special motors had been installed in the ship, engines that would pour a flood of power into the gravity plates—enough power to enable the Newtonia to pull free from the Sun's grip.

  • 1943 F. B. Long Stellar Vampires in Science Fiction July 80/1 Frank Belknap Long bibliography

    But there was nothing normal about a gravity plate that had resisted the tug of Mars only to buckle on little Phobos, crippling our ship on a blue moon that traveled in the wrong direction, and possessed a diameter of only eight minutes of arc when it was at its zenith.

  • 1968 J. Brunner Product of the Masses in Worlds of If Apr. 99/2 page image John Brunner bibliography

    She spun on her heel and marched away. The sound of her heels could be heard fading as she stamped along the gravity plates linking the floor of the umbilical tunnel.

Research requirements

antedating 1932

Earliest cite

Ray Cummings, "Wandl, the Invader"

Research History
Fred Galvin submitted a 1951 cite from Samuel A. Peeples, David A. Kyle, and Martin Greenberg's "A Dictionary of Science Fiction".
Fred Galvin submitted a cite from a 1996 reprint of Raymond Z. Gallun's 1935 "Derelict"; Mike Christie verified it in the first publication.
Fred Galvin submitted a 1936 cite from Gabriel Wilson's "Earth-Venus 12".
Fred Galvin submitted a 1943 cite from Frank Belknap Long's "The Stellar Vampires".
Fred Galvin submitted a cite from a 1975 reprint of Jack Williamson's 1933 "Salvage in Space"; Mike Christie verified it in the first publication in the March 1933 Astounding Stories.
Mike Christie submitted a 1940 cite from Henry Kuttner's "Reverse Atom".
Jesse Sheidlower submitted a 1932 cite from Ray Cummings' "Wandl, the Invader".
Fred Galvin submitted a 1930 cite from Ray Cummings' "Brigands of the Moon".

Last modified 2022-03-01 23:01:23
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.