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Old 11-08-2012, 09:33 PM   #1
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Default What is it #6

How many of you can identify this interesting gadget? I have obscured the information in the labels because it might have given a clue. Some of you will recognize it immediately, I think.
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Old 11-09-2012, 05:24 AM   #2
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Since I see what appear to be two keyboards, one for receiving and one for transmitting, and 4 wheels for changing some function, I would think it was some sort of coding device for secret messaging.



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Old 11-09-2012, 09:10 AM   #3
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I believe the Brits snatched that gadget off a submarine awhile back. (But I'll wait a bit before blurting out the answer.)

Interesting that they were both in nicely crafted wooden cabinets.
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Old 11-09-2012, 01:21 PM   #4
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I don't think it's an Enigma, I remember seeing one in a movie and it didn't quite look like that. The Enigma was mechanical and this one looks like it's electrical as well. But, of course, I could be all wet too.



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Old 11-09-2012, 07:17 PM   #5
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It's an Enigma. In particular, it's a naval Enigma. Excellent article at Wikipedia Enigma article.

Only the naval Enigma had four rotors; other Enigmas had [almost always] three. It's both electrical and mechanical. The upper "keyboard" is not a keyboard but a set of lamps. When encrypting, the operator pressed a key to enter a plaintext character, and a lamp illuminated corresponding to the cyphertext character. The operator pressed a key, looked at the lamp, and wrote the cyphertext on a piece of paper for the radioman to send. In decrypting a received message, it worked exactly the same. Spare bulbs are stored in the row at the upper edge of the lid; there are several of them up there, on the left.
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