Framing Our Geo-Heritage

454629320_1u34 PATHIt should be patently obvious as to what this object is …

That’s right, it’s the official documentation for an early GPSr device by American company Cobra Electronics. Patent USD469367 was submitted to the United States Patent Office in June 2002 and granted the following January.

441771576_b0ckBy that time, Cobra’s three handheld units had already wowed crowds at the 2002 Consumer Electronics Show, requiring organisers to create a new event category for them. This GPS 1000, its top-of-the-line device priced at US$209.95, featured “500 waypoints, 50 routes, ‘points of interest’, a PC interface and a street-level detailed map for the road-tripper”.

Until recently, such historic paperwork would have continued to gather dust at the bottom of a filing cabinet but now dozens of webstores are offering patent imagery as works of art.  

And thanks to It’s Not About The Numbers, you can even buy posters of geocaching-related inventions from Etsy’s PatentPrints. Store owner Cole has just introduced two new designs honouring Cobra’s GPSr and the first-ever satellite structure.

The latter was submitted by American inventor Robert C Baumann back in August 1957. Patent No US002835548 was granted the following year but Russia had already won the initial space race, launching two of its Sputnik satellites in the same period.

PatentPrints offers unframed reproductions of both iconic apparatus on 90lb cardstock (either white or a parchment paper colour) for US$7 (NZ$8.42), regardless of whether you buy the 8×10, 11×4 or 11×7-inch version. Larger prints can be custom-ordered, with the 18×24-inch costing US$12.99 (NZ$15.63).

Best of all, if you follow PatentPrints’ Facebook page, you can earn a free print with every order.

*Want to search for your own GPSr’s patent? Visit Google Patents or a rival service such as FreePatentsOnline. If you find anything interesting, let us know in the comments section below.



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