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Quoting Nikola Tesla from his 1907 paper “Man’s Greatest Achievement” which was published in 1930 in the Milwaukee Sentinel,

“Long ago he (mankind) recognized that all perceptible matter comes from a primary substance, of a tenuity beyond conception and filling all space - the Ākāśa or luminiferous ether - which is acted upon by the life-giving Prana or creative force, calling into existence, in never ending cycles, all things and phenomena. The primary substance, thrown into infinitesimal whirls of prodigious velocity, becomes gross matter; the force subsiding, the motion ceases and matter disappears, reverting to the primary substance”,

this idea was continued into James Clerk Maxwell's seminal paper "On Physical Lines of Force" which he wrote in 1861, in which he demonstrated that light is a transverse propagation of electric and magnetic waves in a sea of aethereal vortices. While this idea was still being published as recently as 1937, as seen from another quote from the "Ether (in Physics)" article in the 1937 Encyclopaedia Britannica, which reads (in connection with the speed of light),

“The most probable surmise or guess at present is that the ether is a perfectly incompressible continuous fluid, in a state of fine-grained vortex motion, circulating with that same enormous speed. For it has been partly, though as yet incompletely, shown that such a vortex fluid would transmit waves of the same general nature as light waves— i.e., periodic disturbances across the line of propagation—and would transmit them at a rate of the same order of magnitude as the vortex or circulation speed”,

the idea lapsed after the second world war.