The Big List of Time Travel Adventures

 1881



   “The Clock That Went Backward”
by Edward Page Mitchell
First publication: The New York Sun, 18 Sep 1881

A young man and his cousin inherit a clock that takes them back to the siege of Leyden at the start of October 1574, where they affect that time as much as it has affected them. This is travel in a machine (or at least an artifact), but they have no control over the destination.

 The hands were whirling around the dial from right to left with inconceivable rapidity. In this whirl we ourselves seemed to be borne along. Eternities seemed to contract into minutes while lifetimes were thrown off at every tick. 


Edward Page Mitchell, Master Traveller

In Lost Giants of American Science Fiction, sf historian Sam Moskowitz cites Mitchell as the first to spearhead five important sf themes in his anonymously published, syndicated short stories for the newspapers. One of those themes was the idea of a mechanism (rather than a dream or trance) to take a person back in time, as presented in “The Clock That Went Backward”—the first time machine! Another time travel innovation of Mitchell was the time traveling ghost from the future in “An Uncommon Sort of Spectre,” who unlike Dickens’s ghosts could interact with the time he traveled to.



Close, but No Time Travel
These are not the stories you’re looking for. Move along.
“Hands Off” by Edward Everett Hale (Anonymously), Harper’s, Mar 1881 [alternate history ]

“Pausodyne” by Grant Allen, Belgravia Christmas Annual, Dec 1881 [long sleep ]

 


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Thanks for visiting my time-travel page, and thanks to the many sources that provided stories and more (see the Links and Credits in the menu at the top). —Michael (
main@colorado.edu)