March 2018: Concealed Camera Binoculars

Photo of binoculars fitted with a concealed camera.

The FBI’s March 2018 Artifact of the Month is a set of binoculars fitted with a concealed camera that was manufactured by Tessina in Lugano, Switzerland, in the early 1960s. (Click image to view high-res.)

Throughout the 109-year history of the Bureau, FBI specialists have used a variety of cameras to combat crime at every level—from fish-eye lenses to spy cameras to the digital age.

The FBI’s March 2018 Artifact of the Month is a set of binoculars fitted with a concealed camera that was manufactured by Tessina in Lugano, Switzerland, in the early 1960s. The camera is a Tessina L 35mm micro-camera and is composed of more than 200 hand-fitted jeweled parts.

The Tessina L35mm was attached to numerous FBI concealment devices, like these binoculars, and was designed so the binocular’s right optic in the right tube would focus the camera hidden in the left tube.