“The Finger of the Past,” Miles J. Breuer, 1932 – An executive dealing in pharmaceutical patents is offered the chance to purchase a machine which can project scenes from the past, and this comes in handy when a valuable patent is stolen from his office.
Comments: Read in The Man With the Strange Head. A few interesting descriptions, e.g., faces being “read” or seeming “blank,” and an emotional outburst jokingly linked to “making a movie.” Everett Bleier in The Gernsbeck Years, calls it a “trite” piece in which a series of “sitcom” situations in which something is stolen and sexual misconduct is revealed. “[A] lighter satire on the consequences new technologies might have for human beings in their personal and professional lives” that “anticipates the corporate satires of Sheckley, Pohl, and Kornbluth in the 50’s, and stories of machines able to record scenes of past (‘E for Effort’) and future (‘Lifeline’).” Michael Page, The Man With the Strange Head, p. xxvii.
Author: Wikipedia: “Miles John Breuer (January 3, 1889 – October 14, 1945) was an American physician and science fiction writer.”