"THE MAN WITHOUT A BODY"
Another great story by Edward Page Mitchell is "The Man Without a Body", this is a fascinating story that foresees the concept of teleportation, that is, the idea of matter transmission which is nowadays, in the twenty-first century being investigated and explored. Who could have imagined such scientific inventions in the second half of the nineteenth century? It seems to me that not even the most world acclaimed figures of Science-fiction of the times like Jules Vernes or later H. G. Wells would use such theme in their writings. The first one, or one of the very few to the best of my knowledge, is Edward Page Mitchell with "The Man Without a Body", a story of only ten pages written in 1877, where the narrator meets, by accident, "on a shelf in the old Arsenal Museum" a human Head with "the skull of a philosopher". It is the head of the "celebrated professor Dummkopf" who invented the first teleportation machine, the Telepomp. His first experiment had been with a cat, which he could transmit five miles by wire in an instant by electricity. Absolutely convinced about the transmission of atoms, Professor Dummkopf decided to try the experiment on himself, but while he began to disintegrate the process suddenly stopped about his third cervical vertebra. The rest of his body had been transmitted but not his head, which was still in his "Phillips Street apartment". The experiment had failed because he had forgotten "to replenish the cups of his electric battery with fresh sulphuric acid". But I should not go on telling the whole story, please, read it, enjoy it and get your own conclusions.