Old watch-like navigation gadget from 1920


Way, way, way, way, way before the days of the Global Positioning System, people had to navigate using devices like the Plus Fours Routefinder, shown above. It’s from back in 1920 and consisted of a collection of small scrolling maps that you’d “load” into the watch-like device before your trip. As you progressed along your route, you’d scroll the map forward to reveal your next turn, mileage, and where to stop.

Alas, it was ahead of its time and “never really took off,” according to Ananova, since there weren’t very many cars on the road back in 1920 (the device was for UK drivers). Call it an “early” early adopter device. It’s now on display in London’s British Library.

[via Newlaunches]