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The Auto-Mapic

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Hans van der Maarel

Hans van der Maarel

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Found this in a used book store the other day, I just had to have it…

It’s a plain brown cardboard box, slightly taller than an A4 piece of paper, slightly narrower too. On the front there’s just the word AUTO-MAPIC in big friendly letters. When I opened the box I found it contained a heavy plastic contraption with maps.

That’s where the fun started. The plastic container had 8 tabs on either side, and a clear see-through section on either side showing a map. By moving the tabs up and down, different maps became visible. 8 tabs times 2 sides means there’s 16 different maps (in this case a roadmap of the Benelux on 15 sheets with 1 overview/legend sheet.

Apparently the maps are cut into narrow strips which are glued to the plastic shutters (for lack of a better word). The effect is quite good provided you move the tabs as far as they go.

From what I’ve gathered, these Auto-Mapics were produced in Austria in the 1970s. This one indeed says it’s made there, and judging by the style and content of the map that appears to be just right.

IMG_2957.jpg IMG_2959.jpg IMG_2961.jpg _2961.jpg]

If anybody has more information on these things, how they were produced and how popular they were, I’d be very interested to hear about it.
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
Email: hans@redgeographics.com / Twitter: @redgeographics



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Cool - it's like a pre-digital Kindle Bookreader! Rather nifty.




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sure enough I found them Ebay UK...


Nick H

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I remember seeing one of these in the days back when. People like paper maps but road atlases and folded maps can be a menace when you're driving. Folding maps can be a menace when you're walking come to that. It's obviously a quality product and I guess the reason it never caught on was high production costs, but nowadays you could have them made for next to nothing. Hum, perhaps there's a new niche market there?

Regards, N.
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What a great find, Hans! Wonder how popular they were in the time and place. Would be fun to track down the inventor and learn about him/her - must be a map nut like us :)

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