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.
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.
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:
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.
Made from razor blades; used in a jail cell moonshine still.
Made of steel rails from bookshelves. Used in a successful 1994 prison escape.
Made from miscellaneous radio parts.
Made in a prison metal workshop as "abstract art", it was used for catapulting contraband materials and messages.
Made from a jigsaw blade and a coathanger.
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.
Fashioned as a "candelabra" in a prison workshop, then bent and used as a grappling hook.
Cleverly disguised as a chess set, with the chess pieces working as ladder rungs.
Marc Steinmetz Photography | Escape Tools
10 deadly toothbrushes: Lethal convict ingenuity Cancrime | Canada's top true crime blog
Prisoners’ Inventions – TEMPORARY SERVICES
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...
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