Spying or espionage has been documented throughout history and its purpose is to get information, without permission, that's considered confidential or secret. Spying can be done by an individual or a spy-ring (a group of spies), usually for a government or a company.
Spy tools have also been in use long before real technology existed. The skills and tools used by spies in history were not as glamorous as the real spy gear today, but nevertheless were very effective.
Letter Removal Spy Device
During World War 2 this letter removal real spy device was used to extract the letter from inside, without destroying the envelope seal. The pincer-device was inserted into the small unsealed gap at the top of the envelope. Taking grasp of the letter inside the device was turned, winding the letter around it, and then simply extracted through the gap at the top.
Real Spy Tobacco Pouch Camera
Hidden in this modified tobacco pouch was a 35mm spy camera with spring-winding mechanism that advanced the film between exposures.
Modified Lady’s Makeup Compact
Here, a secret code is concealed inside the mirror of a lady's makeup compact. By tilting the mirror at the correct angle, the spy code is revealed.
Spies “Dead” Drop Spike
Communication between spies and their handlers would always be a risk. The “Dead” Drop Spike would allow for secure communications through one person leaving material at a prearranged location and the other person picking up later on. This would eliminate the need for direct contact. This real spy device is a spike that could be pushed into the ground. The device is hollow and would contain messages, documents, or spy film.
Concealed Spy Compass
Spies going into harm’s way had a variety of clever places to hide miniature compasses for escape and evasion in case they were compromised - in razors or combs, uniform buttons or, as seen here, in cufflinks.
Real spy equipment used to be esoteric, accessible only to government agents, but that has changed significantly. Today the market is flooded with spy equipment and their use has soared. No longer are these tools reserved for intelligence agencies. If you were to hire a private investigator you can be assured they will have their own spy gear.
Spy gear is useful for businesses, investigators, law enforcement, government departments, and private individuals for a variety of purposes.