ELECTRIC MAP ANSWERS QUESTIONS (Nov, 1936)

ELECTRIC MAP ANSWERS QUESTIONS

AN ELECTRIC map now automatically aids motorists seeking travel information at the headquarters of the Automobile Club of Southern California. At the touch of a button, the mileage to any of 1,000 points within the state flashes from an electrical panel in luminous green figures, while a bright red spot indicates the location of the place upon a map twelve feet high. The thousand answers this instrument “knows” are given through an electrical brain whose cells are 1,000 relays, interconnected by thirteen miles of wire. Figures are flashed from a board whose 460 tiny light bulbs are arranged to form the required digits through eighty-seven separate circuit combinations. Shining through a sheet of prismatic glass and one of stained glass, the individual light beams merge to form solid lines, glowing like neon tubes. The figures can be clearly read 200 feet or more away. The device was planned to answer the questions of the 100,000 persons who each year call for travel information, and to aid employees in answering telephone inquiries.

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