The Strange Gadgets Supplied to Resistance groups in World War Two (Part 2)

The SOE had a big section devoted to forgery. Its staff, some of them recruited directly from prison cells, produced over a quarter of a million fake documents. Most of these were individually produced for specific agents. They ranged from passports and ID cards to Travel Passes, Work Permits and currency. One of the biggest […]

Steaming Along – The erratic history of steam powered road vehicles. (Part 3)

Based in Le Mans, France, a town forever associated with motorsport, Amedee Bollee made bells for a living. However, for ten years from 1873 to 1883 he turned his attention to steam vehicles. One of them, L’Obeissante, could carry 12 passengers and it made the 140 mile journey from Le Mans to Paris in 18 […]

The Strange Gadgets Supplied to Resistance groups in World War Two (Part 1)

In July 1940 many countries in mainland Europe were occupied by Nazi forces. Britain was expecting to be invaded within months. Against this background, Winston Churchill authorised the formation of a new secret service. It was called the ‘Special Operations Executive’ or SOE for short. The aim of the SOE was to make life as […]

Steaming Along – The erratic history of steam powered road vehicles. (Part 2)

By the 1860s many different inventors were working on steam cars. Railways powered by steam locomotives were well established, so making something smaller and lighter that could run on roads seemed to be the logical next step. Henry Taylor, a watchmaker based in Quebec, produced a ‘Steam Pleasure Carriage’. This was demonstrated at Country Fairs. […]