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The Story Behind tells the extraordinary history of the ordinary. Everyday objects are more closely examined, from their ancient beginnings through the present—all within 5-10 minutes.

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Nov 29, 2018

When I was in Washington, DC, a few weeks ago, I stopped at the International Spy Museum before leaving. I could have stayed in there for hours, and it was incredible to see these gadgets and spy equipment that we normally only see in movies. But a set of pictures intrigued me. They were of both Union and Confederate soldiers using the topic of today’s episode to spy on one another.

Not only would they use this to observe the enemy, but they were also able to learn the terrain of the battlefield, take inventory, and even aim accordingly in the direction of the oncoming enemy. Oh, and this “spy vehicle” wasn’t concealed at all.

You’re listening to The Story Behind: The Extraordinary History of the Ordinary. I’m your host, Emily Prokop, and this is The Story Behind Balloons.