The how and why of James Bond's gadgets

A Devon man auctioned a book containing ingenious James Bond-style gadgets invented by British ‘spooks’ to help prisoners of war escape. It has been sold at an auction for over £5,000. He inherited it from a company executive.

The 1942 classified catalogue documents the top-secret designs for covert equipment such as tiny compasses concealed in gold teeth and coat buttons.

Many of the inventions were the brainchild of Christopher Hutton who worked for the government’s little-known MI9 agency and was a real-life ‘Q’ from the 007 movies. The 76 page book details what the gadgets were, how they were made and concealed in innocuous domestic items.

Some of the fascinating gadgets include maps of Germany printed on silk, so that they didn’t rustle and could be crammed inside pencils, vinyl records, cigars and pipes. 

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