Computation, electronics and telecommunications

  • Replica Enigma encryption machine

    Replica Enigma encryption machine

    Record number: 12875
    Geographical specifications: Germany
    Date: Second quarter of the 20th century
    Dimensions: 15 x 28 x 30 cm
    Dimensions: 25.5 x 27 cm

    Encryption machine. Built from steel, in a wooden box, it has 3 encryption rotors, three rows of character indicator lights, and a keyboard, likewise with three rows. The upper plate containing the rotors can be hinged by loosening the two screws at the front. The lid of the box is fitted with a set of 10 bulbs.This is the model D (the most advanced of the commercial rather than the military models).

    The first Enigma encryption machines were manufactured in 1923 by the company Enigma Chiffiermaschinen AG, based on an earlier Dutch patent. The Enigma machine was initially used to send messages in the commercial and industrial sphere, but was soon applied to a military context, becoming one of the key encryption machines of the Second World War. The military version of the Enigma, used by the Nazi forces, was capable of setting messages with more than 456,976 combinations in each of the 24 possible positions of its rotors, making it a real headache for the Allied side.

    Enigma machines were used in Spain to encrypt messages for commercial, industrial and military transactions during the Civil War and the post-war period.