Historical Spy Cameras

Video surveillance is not a new phenomenon

The field of spy equipment has become a lot more sophisticated in the last couple of years. In the past, cameras were big and bulky.  A video surveillance system consisted of a standalone mechanical box that recorded onto a camera recorder. 

Its popularity began to increase with the development of new devices capable of capturing images and sound. Thanks to digital and smart technology and their applications, surveillance cameras have become more diverse and functional.

It’s incredible how far commercial surveillance systems have evolved to become almost unrecognizable, considering some of the tools employed back in the days.

Secret Cameras

One of the most famous spy equipment for decades was secret cameras. In the years of the Cold War, many people had a great interest in secret cameras.

 It resulted in a constant increase in developing tiny and sophisticated spy cameras as the technology advanced.

The cameras were able to capture images with excellent quality despite their small size. It was created using a combination of German innovation and Swiss precision. They were made out of aluminum and plastic and came in various colors.

Minox, Cold War Spy Camera

Minox B, a Cold War spy camera, was an innovative hidden video camera disguised as an everyday object such as a wallet, watch, or pen. It was a digital device that could be set up in minutes.

Minox B spy cameras were first produced in East Germany during WWII for espionage agents of the Abwehr. It was not the first or last of its kind; many cameras were created as a covert espionage device for intelligence gathering and military purposes during the Cold War.  You can also Read: Jailbreaking VS Rooting

Steineck Abc Spy Watch Camera

Steineck ABC spy watch camera is a great device designed to be attached to a wristwatch from a U.S.-based manufacturer. It’s pretty cool because it looks like an everyday watch, so no one will know that you are keeping an eye on them.

Steineck ABC spy watch camera has a unique design. Features include;

·         Records in high-resolution 720x600P AVI video with sound

·         2GB built-in memory allows up to 5 hours of recording time.

·         Records in high, medium, or low quality.

·         It can take up to 250 photos. It has a built-in belt clip, tripod mount, and USB charging cable.

Buttonhole Camera, Model ‘Ajax’ F-21

The buttonhole camera is one of the most miniature cameras in the world. A group of former Soviet spies created it during the cold war. Their mission was to steal scientific and technological secrets from the west.

They also snuck these custom mini cameras hidden inside buttons and pens into various locations worldwide like the Pentagon and nuclear research facilities. The F-21 buttonhole spy camera was produced in 1970 and was among the first generations of spy miniature cameras used by the KGB and CIA during the Cold War.

Lipstick camera

The lipstick camera is the newest technological advancement in covert surveillance. This unique spy camera has all the typical features you would expect from regular lipstick, including a twist-up cap and your choice color.

Ancient Technology & History

Ancient examples of technology

Archeologists have discovered ancient technologies which have left scientists awestruck with their precision and efficiency. A few of these inventions are groundbreaking to an extent that they seem impossible to be recreated in modern times with modern technologies. These technologies shed light on the previous socio-cultural aspects of our ancestral societies. 

Antikythera mechanism

This ancient technology was discovered on the Greek island, Antikythera in 1901 by divers who were in search of sponges. The Antikythera mechanism, a 2000-year-old analog computer, had functional gears and it resembled a clock. It is discovered that the ancient invention was also utilized for transportation as it could “replicate the motions of the heavens.” This technology was not any larger in size than mantel clocks at our homes. Unlike displaying time like our modern-day clocks, the Antikythera mechanism used to display “celestial time” by using celestial bodies are guides.

Automatic doors

Automated doors came under the spotlight in 1931 and were considered as symbols of the “modern age”. However, this invention had already been made by the Greeks in 1 AD.

Brass vessels were used as a place to light a fire which generated enough heat to create a buildup of atmospheric pressure to open the door. This vessel used to simultaneously pump water in attached containers which would then act as weights to ensure that the door was kept open. These doors had a functioning similar to that of a hydraulic system.

These ancient doors, however, were not efficient in terms of time, rigid in use, and not user-friendly. Hence were not as popular as automated doors in modern times.  

Houfeng Didong Yi: The earthquake detector in ancient times 

2,000 years ago, the Houfeng Didong Yi, a seismoscope was discovered in ancient China. It was the first effective earthquake detector discovered in history. It was invented by Zhang Heng who was an engineer, scholar, astronomer, artist, and scientist.

The Houfeng Didong Yi could detect earthquakes as far away as hundreds of kilometers. The device was shaped in the form of a jar and consisted of eight tube-like projections on the exterior, with eight corresponding toad-shaped projections at the base. Each of these toad-shaped projections represented a direction taken by the seismic wave while traveling. To demonstrate the direction of the earthquake, the Houfeng Didong would drop a ball in a toad according to the direction of the seismic wave.

Aeolipile: The ancient steam turbine

The Aeolipile was invented by the engineer and mathematician, Heron of Alexandria. This technology functioned like a steam turbine in ancient times. It was a hollow sphere that was mounted in a manner that enabled it to turn on tubes that provided the sphere with steam from a cauldron. The steam would then evaporate from hollow tubes resulting in the device revolving at high speeds.

Although it was an efficient device, it did not progress any further from being a novelty device. It was difficult to obtain fuel for keeping the device operational over long periods of time.