It looks like a quirky prop from Get Smart, but this 1960's KGB issue Spy Shoe with a radio transmitter concealed in the heel is also a reminder of Cold War reality and the technical innovations that were driven by the need to find new and undetectable means of espionage - in this case you could say the KGB were one step ahead.Used to monitor secret conversations, the shoe's transmitter, microphone, and batteries were imbedded in the heel of a target's shoe. A maid or valet with access to the individual's clothing would be given the job of planting the rigged shoes and activating the transmitter by pulling out a white pin from the heel. The target would then become a walking radio station, transmitting all conversations to a nearby monitoring post.The Spy Shoe is part of the International Spy Museum collection, which opened its doors in April 2002 after more than 30 years in development. It's the first public museum in the US solely dedicated to espionage and the only one in the world to provide a global perspective on the profession. Read more about this intriguing collection of spy artefacts in upcoming Gizmo publications.
About the Author
Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks.All articles by Mike Hanlon