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I'm trying to remember a short short in the Golden Age of SF (1920s-1950s) where the following was written:

  • human from offworld came to a colony planet
  • human was an agent sent to uplift world into interstellar civilization
  • human needed to change politics, manufacturing, science, and schools upon the world
  • human first cloned himself to be different people, one for each area of study that needed to be changed in the world
  • I specifically remember the agent using a matter conversion device to change the economy of the world. He was laughing as he pushed an encyclopedia book into the device's input hopper with the result being more and larger jewel-quality diamonds coming out the other side. This wasn't matter duplication or even molecular disassemble/reassemble, but transmutation in real-time. The agent fully intended on crashing the economy to change it.
  • I think the short story did not end with the planet's population joining the interstellar civilization, but it was inferred.

Very old short story, told in the classic Golden Age SF style. No idea as to whom the author was.

  • How do you know it was so old? How long ago did you read it? Was it in a magazine, or a hardcover or paperback collection or anthology? Were there any nonhumans in the story? Was it told from the viewpoint of the agent or the (human?) colonists? – user14111 Apr 23 '15 at 4:22
  • Story had that 1940s "feel" to it with diction and vocabulary. Single male protagonist. Told from the viewpoint of the agent, I think there were only a few other people in the story, just the people the agent interacted with on a business basis. – jhpace1 Apr 23 '15 at 15:43

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