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Dilating Doors 
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Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 12:40 pm
Posts: 540
Post Dilating Doors
From wikiquote:

"The door dilated."

This offhand mention has become the simplest (three words!) and often-quoted exposition of the wonders of a different world, where what would be novel today has become simply the way things work. Beyond This Horizon (1942)

From a year earlier, in Methuselah's Children:
As the door to the lounge dilated noiselessly in front of him the sound of voices became loud and very interesting.

Not expressed so pithily, but it antedates the popular quotation.

Wed Sep 11, 2013 6:01 pm
Heinlein Nexus
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Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2008 8:10 am
Posts: 2232
Location: Pacific NorthWest
Post Re: Dilating Doors
Excellent catch.

Unfortunately Google Books has inaccurate publication data - it doesn't know about works being published first in Astounding, so it thinks the date of Beyond This Horizon is 1960. So it's not a reliable source for finding the earliest usage. It does show another author saying "the door dilated" in Astounding in 1943, so the trope caught on fast.

Wed Sep 11, 2013 8:41 pm
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