Cane maps were one of the first navigation devices

28 March 2021, 04:00

Author: RouteYou

Public | Dutch

We are so used to GPS enabled smartphones that we even forget how 'in the old days' people found their way without these devices. So here is a bit of interesting history for you if you do wonder. Long before personal navigation technology became common through the use of GPS enabled smartphones and other handheld devices, cane maps were an innovative way of carrying locational information.

But what are cane maps?

The cane map was a map rolled up in a walking cane (see image). The map sheet was spring loaded and retracted by pushing a button on the ornate handle. The first cane map was created in 1893 for that year’s Columbian Exposition (the Chicago World Fair). It was created (and patented) by the Columbian Novelty Company and contained a retractable double sided map published by Aug Gast Bank Note & Litho Company of the World Fair in Chicago. The Columbian Novelty Company was established for the purpose of creating novelty items for the World Fair. The first side was map of the fairgrounds. The other side of the map was of Chicago, showing prominent hotels, theaters, and railways. The cane maps were sold in the gift shops of the World Fair.  

Source

Source: Geographicus via Wikipedia, public domain.

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