Buttonhole Camera, Model F-21

Circa 1970, KGB

The F-21 was one of several buttonhole cameras widely used in the Soviet Union, Europe, and North America. Codename: Ajax refers to the hidden camera concealed in this ordinary looking coat. The lens, tucked behind the right middle button, is perfectly positioned for photographing unsuspecting people. To take a picture, the wearer of the coat would squeeze a shutter cable hidden in the coat pocket. Squeezing the cable caused the fake button to open and snap a picture.

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