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CIA Museum showcases three spy cameras

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Museum web site is showcasing three declassified spy cameras used in the early days of its operation. Along with historical description of these cameras, the web site provides photos of these devices.

The first is a matchbox camera produced by Eastman Kodak Company for Office of Strategic Services (OSS). OSS is the predecessor to CIA. The matchbox camera was used during World War II for "target recording and propaganda photography".

The second is a Mark IV Microdot Camera. The camera produces pinhead-size photographs. This device was used for communication between agents during the 1950 and 1960's to circumvent the Berlin Wall.

The third is the well-known Minox camera; one version of it. Walter Zapp designed the Minox camera as "a portable camera that would fit easily into the palm of the hand and yet take high quality, spontaneous pictures." Its film cassette holds 50 frames. Due to its size and quality of its picture, the camera is used by spy agencies all over the world.

Chieh Cheng
Thu, 5 Jan 2006 13:25:29 -0800

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