Tag "night vision"
make this SNOOPERSCOPE and see in total darkness (Aug, 1951)

At least they admit in the article that this is not the most practical use of this device, but still….
Wouldn’t the burglar notice her pulling out at powering up all her kit?

make this SNOOPERSCOPE and see in total darkness

By Harold Pallatz

PICTURED above is only one of the possible applications of the modified wartime sniperscope. This unit, called a snooperscope, is an enlarged version of the instrument used by GI riflemen to enable accurate fire power in total darkness. When the infrared light source is turned on, the user, by employing the special eyepiece, can see in the area covered by the light, although to the naked eye total darkness still prevails.

Eary I.R. Imager (Aug, 1946)


New bolometer that “sees” warmth miles away will help fight disease, warn of fire, catch burglars, and spot heat leaks.

SCIENCE has outdone the cat with a new device that can really see in the dark. The superconducting bolometer, developed at Johns Hopkins University’s Cryogeny (refrigeration) Laboratory by Dr. Donald H. Andrews and three student associates, will spot a truck moving in complete darkness five miles away—and instantly trace its outline on a screen.

Actually an ultrasensitive heat-measuring instrument, the bolometer detects heat radiating from men, vehicles, and buildings. Unlike the Army’s sniperscope (PSM, June ’46, p. 73), which reveals a night-hidden object by sending out a beam of infra-red rays and showing on a screen the reflections from the object, the bolometer does not emit rays.

Like early television cameras, the bolometer employs a mechanically oscillated mirror to scan the area under observation. Instead of a cell sensitive to visible light, however, it has a tiny strip of alloy that responds to the invisible light of the infra-red spectrum—heat rays. This alloy—the rare metal, columbium, alloyed with nitrogen-converts the varying heat radiation it receives from the mirror into electrical impulses, which are amplified and fed into a cathode-ray tube. Movement of the cathode beam is synchronized with the oscillating mirror, while the intensity of the ray is governed by the impulses from the alloy strip —thus the object being observed appears on the fluorescent screen of the tube just as in a television receiver.