Is there anyone here who could help me understand the state of physicists understanding just prior to 1905 and Einstein's SR paper? I keep running into length contraction, considerations of simultaneity and its non-universal nature, Lorentz transformations, time dilation and other concepts that seem to have been in the literature in 1904 and were (taken together and viewed from a modern perspective) incredibly close to SR. I understand that Einstein placed the correct interpretation of these concepts of space and time that weren't understood then, and I understand that he derived them from simpler concepts - relativity and the constancy of the speed of light. What I'm wondering about is whether Lorentz and others of that time had actually reached the correct mathematical description of what we call SR. If so, how did they interpret their mathematics? Was it just that they couldn't make the conceptual leap to relativity and spacetime that Einstein made from the equations they had concluded must apply? Or had they not yet reached the correct mathematics? Was it a problem with interpretation or math? I have read various articles on this, but none seem to really address my questions from this perspective. Thanks for any guidance to someone who is merely curious.