Routefinder wrist maps

posted by Jason Kottke   Oct 01, 2008

Strange Maps ran across a wristwatch-like contraption from the 1920s that holds little scrolls of paper used for navigation, an analog version of Hertz’s NeverLost and other in-car GPS navigation systems.

This fantastic contraption, called the ‘Routefinder’, showed 1920s drivers in the UK the roads they were travelling down, gave them the mileage covered and told them to stop when they came at journey’s end. The technology — a curious cross between the space age and the stone age — consisted of a little map scroll inside a watch, to be ‘scrolled’ (hence the word) as the driver moved along on the map. A multitude of scrolls could be fitted in the watch to suit the particular trip the driver fancied taking.