The History Of Spy Gadgets

History Of The Technology

In today’s world, spy technology is highly proficient in gathering the evidence needed. Most devices work with computer technology and offer instant and flexible results that can be accessed from around the world. These include the use of satellite technology; to offer live vehicle tracking, or an insight into the human mind via a polygraph test. We see cameras so tiny that they fit inside a coat hanger, and listening devices that can record conversation through walls.


The industry of spying however is not a new one. For years people have utilised equipment to gain secret information about the behavior of others. Often this has been used for political reasons, or during the War period, however private investigators have been called upon for domestic matters for a long time too; think Sherlock Homes for example. Without the use of impressive computer technology, spies had to get their information through other devices.

Radio Cat

Animal rights activities would have a lot to say about using animals to obtain secret information, but throughout history animals have been used in many ways to assist investigations. One of the most incredible inventions was the radio cat. A normal house cat was operated upon by CIA veterinarians, who inserted an audio radio into its body, and positioned the antennae upon its tail. The cat was subsequently trained to sit quietly next to targeted people to act as a covert listening device. The acoustic kitty was finally released on a mission only to be struck down by a taxi cab and killed. (Or so they say…)

An Olive In Disguise?

Another fantastic device that was developed during the 1960s was the recording olive. This tiny invention had a microphone inserted into the olives body, with a small antennae coming out within a toothpick, the microphone olive was attached to a martini glass and used to gather secret information at high class affairs.

Spartan Scytail

One of the most ancient devices none in the spying industry, the Scytail is a basic way of communicating secret information. It works by using a simple strap of leather that can be wrapped around a hexagonal walking stick, to cover it completely like wrapping paper. When the belt was in place, a secret message was written down the leather strap. When the belt was unwrapped it appeared to just have a random collection of letters upon it. It was not until the belt was re-wrapped around a similar shaped stick that the message was made clear- all due to the random positioning of the letters that a hexagonal stick creates.

These devices are only some of those that were used in the history of spying. Compared to those of today they may seem highly inadequate, but for the time these were astounding creations.  What hasn’t changed however is the need for the private detective or spy. Today, the rates of hiring a private investigator are continuously rising; people need their help in many situations. If you feel you need any help or advice on a matter, then make contact today for discreet and professional advice


Private Detective Charlie Hodgson is a great fan of gadgets and spy equipment that can be used in cases. Working alongside other private investigators such as Private Investigators Glasgow Charlie has gathered a huge amount of evidence using these devices.

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