This is the stupidest thing you've seen today, right? Right. And I don't even include the spaceship with the bird-beak in that estimation.. Wikipedia:
Edward Elmer Smith (also E. E. Smith, E. E. Smith, Ph.D., E. E. "Doc" Smith, Doc Smith, "Skylark" Smith, or—to his family—Ted) was an American food engineer (specializing in doughnut and pastry mixes) and an early science fiction author, best known for the Lensman and Skylark series.
He wrote the Skylark in 1920. Give him credit for this: he invented the term "tractor beam."