Dinosaur bones and George Washington’s fake teeth are nice, but how about a tiny suicide syringe hidden in a silver dollar and designed for spies working in enemy territory?
What about a piece of the wreckage of an American spy plane that President Dwight D. Eisenhower claimed didn’t exist until its pilot was paraded in front of the cameras by the Soviet Union?
These are some of the new items that will be on display at the International Spy Museum, one of the hottest museum tickets in the nation’s capital.
The museum on Wednesday announced it has been bequeathed the world’s largest private collection of espionage artifacts, more than 5,000 pieces — tripling the number of the facility’s accumulated treasures.
The donation came from former businessman and author H. Keith Melton, who has scoured the world for decades acquiring a massive collection of spycraft items.
It includes weapons, escape and evasion devices, artifacts used for concealment and cipher machines. Also: clothing worn by famous Cold War spies, disguises, secret writings, covert listening devices, radios hidden in other objects and spy cameras.