More air world

I’m tickled and astonished by the huge variety of air-driven devices around 1912. This one wasn’t replaced by electricity until 2010!

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The Chadwick Automatic Road Guide performs the functions of directing the motorist and furnishing information as to approaching road conditions automatically. This instrument consists of a dial fitted with a set of signals which indicate road conditions and directions.

It is driven by flexible shaft and gears from the front wheel in the same way as a speedometer. The construction embraces a set of signals which are operated by compressed air, the signals being thrown up when holes punched in a paper disk coincide with the air tubes. The method of operation is similar to that of player pianos.

The perforated record disk is arranged to give notice of all road directions, speed traps, rough roads, danger points, railroad crossings, and so on. There is a set of ten different signals of different colors. These are large enough to be seen from any point in the car.

The instrument is fitted with a small electric light inside the case, making it possible to follow the signals as easily at night as by day. The distance that the signals are to fall ahead of the road condition can be instantly set by the driver.

The records are made from thin white fiber. Each contains directions for a trip of 100 miles or under. The names of towns, hotels, streets, and other items of interest are printed on the face of the record at points corresponding with the mileage. As each signal is thrown a bell inside the case is sounded to notify the driver that there is a signal up for his instruction.

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The typewriter keys on the view at right served to perforate your own circle, for future use on a repeated trip.

Reminds me of the Annotator for Dictaphones.

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