The Chronic Argonauts
"The Chronic Argonauts" is a short story written by H. G. Wells. First published by the Royal College of Science in 1888, it is the first well-developed use of a machine constructed to travel through time (a "time machine") in science fiction, as it predates Wells's more famous time travelling novel, The Time Machine, by 7 years.
This brief story begins with a third-person account of the arrival of a mysterious inventor to the peaceful Welsh town of Llyddwdd. Dr. Moses Nebogipfel takes up residence in a house sorely neglected after the deaths of its former inhabitants. The main bulk of the story concerns the apprehension of the simple rural folk who eventually storm the inventor's "devilish" workshop in an effort to repay supposed witchery. Nebogipfel escapes with one other person—the sympathetic Reverend Elijah Ulysses Cook—in what is later revealed to be a time machine.
The next part picks up with an unnamed "Author" character discovering the dazed Reverend Cook returned from unbelievable exploits after having been missing for three weeks. The remainder of the story is the Reverend's short retelling (again in the third-person) of the events that took place that night and the revelation that Nebogipfel is an "Anachronic Man" whose genius drives him to seek out a time more suited to his abilities.
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- Edison as a common basis for Nebogipfel and the Time Traveller