THEME & focus
January 2021
Spy gadgets used in the Cold War

Spying was part and parcel of the Cold War. Both groups have gone as far as they may learn as much information about one another. The real thing is far away from romantic though Hollywood romanticized the entire picture of spying. It is a risky cat and mouse game, usually leading to torture, jail, or spy assassination if the opponent's team catches it.

Spies had to brace for the worst during the Cold War. Your ability to mingle with your world was crucial to your success. The USSR and the United States have invested a great deal of money preparing, hiring, fitting out, and deploying spies worldwide. The consequence was many technical advances, from small spy cameras to lethal murder weapons.

Sedgley OSS .38 Glove Pistol
Stanley M. Height designed this single, split action gun in Philadelphia that the Naval Service used during the Cold War. Spies had tightly placed the arms onto the back of a cowhide glove, and usually, the spy would use a long sleeve to hide them from enemy view. By forming a fist and punching a target, the arm is triggered. They would shoot a projectile in the blank space of the target touch.

If a spy was in an authoritarian state, he could hold his hand behind his head to surrender. The little gun could not be seen under the glove. The spy could strike him in the lead for an immediate kill when the enemy came within range.

The Bulgarian Umbrella
This lethal shield has a secret pneumatic tool that can inject ricin into its targets with a small poisonous dart. The Bulgarian reporter Georgy Markov was stabbed in his leg with the head of such an umbrella on 7 September 1978. He died in a hospital bed four days later. More than 35 years ago, a maximum period was launched. There have never been convictions, prosecutions, or detentions.

Anal CIA Toolkit
During the Cold War, CIA agents have built this handy, compact toolkit. The idea is to get the small toolkit out and run if you were caught. Although most people giggle at the thought, it might have been a saver of life.

It has been designed to accommodate a wide range of escape devices like "drill bits, screws, and knives" and faced a very technological challenge: the components are hard to incorporate, "cannot split, or make sharp edges which can hurt users," and "it must seal firmly so that nothing gets in or out."

Spy Shoe with a Heel Transmitter
This shoe from the KGB is reminiscent of the Cold War's facts and the numerous technological advances emerging from Spionage. It looks like something from the old spy movie. Agents used the shoe transmitter to capture and track too classified communications. In the sole of the goal boot, batteries and a microphone have been mounted and made a walking radio station to listeners nearby.

Lipstick Gun
Sometimes known as the 'Kiss of death.' KGB agents used the weapon mounted on the lipstick tube during the war. They first revealed the presence of the firearm in West Berlin at a frontier crossing. Turning the lipstick's bottom will shoot a single bullet.

KGB Disappearing Ink Pen
The world's leading powers have poured much work into creating the latest intelligence equipment during the golden age of spy. This included methods to create intangible tinctures.

Wet-writing used to be the accepted way of covering ink. An officer wrote on the paper with ink, steamed it, let it dry, steamed the paperback to erase indentations, allowed it to dry again, and then wrote something to cover the initial message – it required a lot of time and effort. The KGB developed a faster technique during the 1950s. The ink types vanish. They are also commonly sold on eBay and Amazon.
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From the TV series "The Spy"
Starring: Sacha Baron Cohen
From the movie "Red Sparrow"
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence
Prime video