JF Ptak Science Books Post 2319
It seems that in variations of the future that I have read that the concept of anti-gravity-something wasn't taken so much seriously as it was a half-prank. For example earlier in this blog I wrote about one of Edison's least-known and most-nonexistent inventions, antigravity underpants. There was a time in the late 19th century when it was seen that Thomas Edison could do just about anything--so much so that the Brits in The London Punch gave him tongue-in-cheek credit for inventing (flying, so to speak), anti-gravity underwear. The funny thing about this though is that the best thing that people could do with this new invention would be to go to a super-sized art gallery to look at paintings close to the ceiling.
Another example of gravity taken not-so-heavily is the scientific publication, Electrical Experimenter, where a seated couple is no longer so in the clutches of "suspended gravitation", and again what the floating people engage in is play, the oman blowing a balloon and the man spraying selzter at it.
[Image source: My Ear Trumpet, here.]
The odd bit here is that "gravity" is found early on in the Oxford English Dictionary back to 1622 with G. de Malynes and N. Carpenter in 1625, and then of course with Roger Bacon a year later), though "anti-gravity" does not occur in use until 1945; and clearly the concept is on display in these three quick examples, though the phrase is not. "Anti-gravitation" however is used, though for some reason it is not included in the OED.
The article, "Overoming Gravitation" by George Piggott, really did take the matter seriously, in spite of the cover illustration, as a quick read will verify. More serious than that, though was an earlier and perhaps war-infested thinking mode was the militarily enhanceable anti-gravity ray (May, 1916).
[Image source: Airminded, in a post about future weapons of the past, here.]
Better yet (?) is this appearance in 1918 of an anti-gravity craft with invisibility options:
[Image source: Inernet Archive, here.]
And then of course there are examples like this, found in another early post on this blog, "Anti-gravity Atomic-powered Sun-fed Underground Woman of the Year 5000!", here.
In any event, these are a few example of the anti-gravity idea in the 1880-1920 period. No doubt there is a rich and full literature on this very thing--mainly what I wanted to do here was captued Airmnded's image to use for another day.