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Thread: Homemade prisoner inventions

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    Jon
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    Homemade prisoner inventions

    A collection of tools, weapons, and vehicles made by prisoners, mostly for escape attempts. Some of these are museum pieces, the subject of artists' work, or written about in books like Prisoners' Inventions.

    Crossbow
    Built from 10 toothbrushes, a cigarette lighter, ballpoint pen casing, wire coat hanger, aluminum tongs, rubber gloves, tissues, string, and screws. The darts are tightly rolled paper, Q-tips, aluminum foil, wire, and masking tape. On display at the Penitentiary Museum in Kingston, Ontario.




    Colditz Glider
    Built by British POWs in WWII, for an escape attempt from Colditz Castle in Germany. Skinned in prison sleeping bags, with boiled German millet porridge used as sealing dope. The Allies liberated the prisoners before the glider could be used. A fullsize replica is on display at the Norfolk and Suffolk Aviation Museum.

    The original. Photograph taken in April 1945 by one of the American liberators of the castle:


    The museum replica:




    Shotgun
    Made from iron bedposts, pieces of lead from curtain tape and match heads. Ignited by AA batteries and a broken light bulb. Used in a 1984 escape attempt from a Celle, Germany prison.




    Immersion Heater
    Made from razor blades; used in a jail cell moonshine still.




    Ladder
    Made of steel rails from bookshelves. Used in a successful 1994 prison escape.




    Radio Transmitter
    Made from miscellaneous radio parts.




    Catapult
    Made in a prison metal workshop as "abstract art", it was used for catapulting contraband materials and messages.




    Saw
    Made from a jigsaw blade and a coathanger.




    Tattoo Gun
    Made from a toothbrush handle, ballpoint pen, and an electric motor.




    Dummy Submachine Gun
    Made from a grease injector, wood, a rubber sleeve, and tape. Discovered before it could be used in an escape attempt.




    Grappling Hook
    Fashioned as a "candelabra" in a prison workshop, then bent and used as a grappling hook.




    Rope Ladder
    Cleverly disguised as a chess set, with the chess pieces working as ladder rungs.




    More:

    Marc Steinmetz Photography | Escape Tools
    10 deadly toothbrushes: Lethal convict ingenuity Cancrime | Canada's top true crime blog
    Prisoners’ Inventions – TEMPORARY SERVICES

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    mklotz mklotz's Avatar
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    Can't tell for sure but it looks to me as if that crossbow has a sight (dark blue tube). I wonder if it has polished plastic optics and spider silk crosshairs?

    The chess pieces are labeled with the common German names for the pieces.

    When folks have 24 hours a day to devote to coming up with clever uses of available materials, there's no limit to the ingenuity.

    Here's a video of the flight of the Colditz glider replica from its intended launch site, the real Colditz castle...

    ---
    Regards, Marv


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    Read the book "Colditz Castle" about the building of the glider. Very interesting. Also knew one of the soldiers that liberated the soldiers. He had a photo album of the castle and the glider.
    Last edited by atwatterkent; 01-22-2017 at 08:59 PM.

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    Sorry about appearing as a a "lurker", our download account is almost maxed. I hope to be more active once it resets at months end. Cheers


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