Fifteen Eighty Four

Academic perspectives from Cambridge University Press


Spy-Tech Monday

Kristie Macrakis

That’s it for Kristie Macrakis and her treasure trove of Stasi gizmos. Thanks for joining us. I’ll make it easier for everyone, and post all the pictures in a gallery below. Seduced by Secrets is available nationwide; get the full story! Many thanks to Kristie for sharing images from her own research.

[UPDATE] Check out the comments section – a reader has posted a series of very cool, very outlandish spy cameras.


A tile mosaic at the former Stasi headquarters

The back room at the German Federal Criminal Police

Insert a pin and voila, your very own Minox spy camera.

Why, what an ordinary-looking ash tray.

Insert a pin, and voila, your very own… yeah, another Minox.

A desktop lighter contains a cypher.

Photograph dignitaries and other folks of interest at your next spy-function, even from under your summery dress.

Dust some evidence, stick it in a jar. Later, dogs will identify the person by scent. Or not. There are conflicting reports as to whether a dog can identify the scent of someone based upon their handling of, say, a protest leaflet. The scary thing: the current German police still may be doing it.

This cigarette case conceals…

A very pricey, high-precision Swiss Tessina wristwatch-camera. Click for a bigger image, and dig the controls. The manual settings are all there.

The Microdot. This camera is the size of a thumbnail, with a remote shutter release.

About The Author

Kristie Macrakis

Kristie Macrakis is the author of Seduced by Secrets: Inside the Stasi's Spy-Tech World (2008). She is Professor of the History of Science at Georgia Tech. She spent 2007–08 at H...

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