James Bond’s Iconic Spy Gear and Gizmos Get Their First Museum Showcase

"007 Science" features more than 100 gadgets wielded by the secret agent himself.

Daniel Craig as James Bond, posing with the spy's silver Aston Martin DB5 for Skyfall (2012). Photo: Eon Productions.

Jetpacks, wristwatch dart guns, and submarine sports cars. High-tech gadgets that blend the lethal with the sartorial are emblematic of the world’s most famous spy, James Bond. Fans of the secret agent and his movie franchise will have the opportunity to see the iconic devices for themselves at the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago’s forthcoming exhibition, “007 Science: Inventing the World of James Bond.” 

Produced in partnership with Eon Productions, the creators of the James Bond films, the show is the first-ever to focus on the science and technology of the Bond movies. It will feature 13 vehicles and over 90 artifacts, delving into the real science that went into developing the spy’s gadgets and stunts.

“The James Bond universe lies at the intersection of science fiction and science fact,” said Chevy Humphrey, the museum’s president and CEO, in a statement.

Sean Connery as James Bond wearing the iconic jetpack in Thunderball (1965). Photo: Eon Productions.

Pushing the boundaries of what is possible with futuristic, cutting-edge technology has long been key to the allure of the Bond franchise. Attendees will learn how real science drove many of the movies’ story elements and how the films, in turn, prefigured some real-world inventions. Imagined tools like the suction cup climbers used in the movie You Only Live Twice (1967), for example, will be juxtaposed with real-world Gecko Gloves that allow people to climb walls.

Other gadgets in the exhibition include a retina scanner that allowed access into the MI6 communications room in Golden Eye (1995), the Parahawk snowmobile hybrid from The World Is Not Enough (1999), and a safe-cracking device from On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969). 

Visitors can also experiment in a lab space inspired by “Q”, the MI6 division in the Bond universe that develops top-secret technologies. There, guests can test their spycraft skills by designing vehicles and developing stunts. 

See more gadgets featured in the show below.

SK-8A all-in-one surveillance kit, used by the CIA in the ‘60s and ‘70s, on loan from the International Spy Museum. Photo: Museum of Science and Industry.

A passport of one of the secret agent’s aliases from Casino Royale (2006) starring Daniel Craig. Photo: Museum of Science and Industry.

Steel teeth belonged to Jaws, the henchman in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and Moonraker (1979). Photo: Museum of Science and Industry.

Bond villain Tee-Hee’s prosthetic arm complete with mechanical claw from Live and Let Die (1973). Photo: Museum of Science and Industry.

Snooper, a roving robot controlled by Q, seen in A View to a Kill (1985). Photo: Museum of Science and Industry.

A plutonium container featured in The World is Not Enough (1999). Photo: Museum of Science and Industry.

The dagger shoes from From Russia, With Love (1963) and Die Another Day (2002). Photo: Museum of Science and Industry.

007 Science: Inventing the World of James Bond” is on view at the Museum of Science and Industry, 5700 S. DuSable, Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, from March 7 through October 27.

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