We all love movies about Bond and Kingsman, in which there is always a specialist supplying colleagues with delightful and amazing things. But spies and secret agents exist in real life too. In Washington, DC we can find an International Spy Museum dedicated to espionage. It has the largest collection of international artifacts for secret services. Bright Side made a selection of some of the most unusual gadgets that secret services and spies used during the Cold War.
This is an arm prosthesis with a built-in gun. To fire the pistol, you just had to poke your finger at the enemy. You can see it at the spy museum in Oberhausen, Germany.
It’s not just a tree stump…it’s a listening device that can intercept radio transmissions for the CIA. The US intelligence agency installed it in the suburbs of Moscow in the early 1970s. It is noteworthy that the stump worked on solar panels. But in the end, the KGB found and neutralized this “bug.”
One more CIA gadget: the dragonfly insectothopter, equipped with a hidden camera. In 1970, it was considered a really cool thing. The CIA planned to use it for the inconspicuous delivery of eavesdropping devices. The signals from the listening device had to be transmitted along a laser beam. This dragonfly with a hydraulic propeller was assembled by a professional watchmaker.
A little black dress for female secret agents, developed by the CIA. Looks beautiful, takes photos, records audio. Perfect!
Another gadget for female agents from the KGB. A lipstick with a 4.5 mm gun inside. Bang! Bang!
This water canteen contains explosives and was used by US Army intelligence officials between 1942 and 1945.
These small cuff links were made by the KGB. They have a hidden space inside for secret things. Great gadget! Secret agents always have secret things.
These glasses have a hidden pellet with poison. An irreplaceable gadget when it comes to disclosing top secret information or torture…
Everybody knows that manners make the man. But shoes too! Look at this stylish shoe, created by the KGB. It has a transmitter for recording and monitoring conversations. That boot was used by the State Security Department of the Socialist Republic of Romania from the 1960s to the 1970s to monitor American diplomats. Basically, diplomats ordered shoes from abroad. But special agents intercepted parcels and built a “bug” into the heel. The search for bugs in the offices of diplomats didn’t yield results because the transmitter was on the diplomat himself. Witty!
This glove-gun was used by the Naval Intelligence Office during the Cold War. To hide it from the enemy, they covered it with a long-sleeved garment. It activates by knocking the fist. Really cool!
A shooting umbrella for assassinating a dissident. It was modified by the KGB to contain a poisonable pellet instead of bullets. It was used to eliminate the Bulgarian dissident and writer Georgi Markov, who was killed in London in 1978. Markov passed by a bus stop and felt a stab in the shin. Turning around, he saw a gentleman with an umbrella. The owner of the umbrella apologized and retired in an unknown direction. Georgi died 3 days later, having told before his death about the episode with the umbrella. Later, a tiny metal capsule with cyanide was found in his calf.
A microdot is a tiny photograph of a secret document or message. This ring was made by the KGB and has a secret chamber for hiding such photographs.
This pen was designed by the CIA. It contains a tiny camera to record everything that is happening. The CIA made 2 more concealments: a cigarette lighter and a key chain. This pen was designed for shooting classified documents. Also, in the case of declassification, there is a poisonous pill in the pen.
This post-war German wristwatch allows an agent to take photographs by pretending to check the time. It was made by the Steineck company in 1949. Instead of the usual film, they were charged with photosensitive disks an inch in diameter. But you couldn’t develop such photos in the store — you had to do it yourself. This was the main drawback of the device.
It’s interesting, but what do modern spy gadgets look like? We will probably find out about this only in 20 years from now. Which gadget did you like the most? Maybe one of them would be useful in your ordinary life? Tell us!
Preview photo credit IntlSpyMuseum/Twitter, spymuseum/Instagram