Trick Valise

March 1937: A tricked-out payroll satchel foiled would-be robbers. From Newsweek (Apr 3, 1937):

In Harrison, N.J., bandits last week held up a messenger and seized his satchel containing a $2,700 pay roll. They didn't notice their victim pull a wire in the bag's handle as he handed it over. Ten seconds later revolver blanks inside the satchel started exploding and clouds of sulphur smoke belched from holes in the bottom. In terror the gunmen dropped their loot and fled.

Quite ingenious, but seems like it would work only once, since after that everyone would know what the trick was. So how did they protect the payroll subsequently?

Newsweek - Apr 3, 1937

St. Louis Post-Dispatch - Mar 26, 1937

     Posted By: Alex - Sat Jun 18, 2016
     Category: Crime | Inventions | 1930s

Nowadays, we use exploding dye packs. These use metal plates, proximity fuses, and radio triggers, none of which is easily detectable by thieves. See the Wikipedia article on "Dye Pack".
Posted by Joshua Zev Levin, Ph.D. on 06/18/16 at 03:02 PM
Don't worry. Q Branch will come up with something new for the next movie.
Posted by Virtual on 06/18/16 at 03:22 PM
Pretty clever actually.
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 06/19/16 at 12:10 AM
Virtual: yes, that immediately sprung to mind here, too. A pair of knives and several golden sovereigns.

Oh, and Alex: I don't think a dose of sulphur fumes is any more pleasant even if you do expect it.
Posted by Richard Bos on 06/21/16 at 06:16 PM
You are right about that Richard.
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 06/21/16 at 08:40 PM
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.