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Navigating your way the 1920s’ style!

October 14th, 2008

Losing directions is one of my weaknesses. If there are too many roads around, I would find myself extremely clueless with the directions whether I am walking or driving without a map or a few phone calls to friends. Sometimes I wondered whether there is a better way than having a Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) or Satellite Navigation System (SatNav) that would possibly cost a bomb to have one installed in your car.

In some countries, GPS or SatNav are so common that in Tokyo, every taxi has one!

Clean seats, courteous driver and very informative taxi.

Then just recently I found this online. A 1920s “SatNav”, also called The Route Finder. It is a tiny machine complete with maps that would tell motorists which way to go. Isn’t that cool or what! Imagine, a wristwatch-style device equipped with mini maps.


1920s Route Finder

But this is no GPS, not even a full and proper map, which requires you to fold, unfold and refold all the time. Plus, with such small prints, it could be a problem for those who had eyesight problems. Face it, its the 1920s. And how many vehicles were there then? The so-called “invention of the future” never took off. What could a person do then? Simple, look at the star for directions or just wait another 80 years for a GPS.

Nevertheless, however weird, funny or even if it is not really usable, it is historically amazing how human mind works for the better of mankind. Whoever invented this, I salute him/her.

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