Thursday, 17 November 2011

15 cool spy gadgets

The Art of Manliness looks at 15 real-life spy gadgets from the Second World War and the Cold War.  Small wonder that the man who was the inspiration for Q was unimpressed by his fictional successor's work.

As a side note, one bit of trivia they missed was that some of the maps printed on silk were made with invisible ink and passed off as handkerchiefs.  The downed pilot could make the map visible using a chemical that he was guaranteed to have with him in unlimited supply.  Though it did make the map smelly.


eon said...

The non-sabotage items (the pipe, cards with maps concealed on the backs, the Monopoly game, and such) were not "spy gadgets". They were created by a WW II unit code-named MIS-X, and were intended to be smuggled into Axis POW camps as "escape aids" for the prisoners.

Other MIS-X gadgets included such goodies as a fountain pen that was a "multiple threat" escape aid. It had a silk map rolled up inside a double-walled barrel, its cap top unscrewed (with a reverse thread) to reveal a tiny compass, and both its pocket clip and nib were magnetized compass needles as well. And yes, it did actually write.



Stephen said...

Thanks for updating me on the maps. I originally thought they were sewn into the jacket lining as they would be otherwise obvious.