How 1920’s Englishmen found their way around

Forget GPS, Google Maps, Mappoint and the new iPhone; this is how navigation was done back in 1920. Drivers would insert the tiny scroll maps into the watch, and turn a little dial as they progressed.

Sadly, back in 1920 there were not enough drivers to make this a successful product, and it would take 80 years for personal navigation units to become popular, though clearly not as fascinating as this watch.

The watch is part of a large collection of 19th and early 20th century gadgets on display at the British Library business and intellectual property center in London. The gadgets come from the private collection of Maurice Collins OBE, author of Eccentric Contraptions and Ingenious Gadgets.

Other gadgets on display include the first automatic food processor and a cup specially designed to let mustached men drink their soup without getting bits of soup stuck in their stache.

The exhibition opened last Thursday, and will be open until Thursday November 10th 2008.

(Photo courtesy of British Library Business and Intellectual Centre/PA Wire)