Three-ring Enigma cypher machine in wooden transit case, c.1930s.
The Enigma cipher machine was invented by Arthur Scherbius in the 1920s. It was originally intended for business use and the example in the gallery is displayed in the '1929 show' emphasising this role. However, the high degree of security it offered, and its portability, led to Enigma being adopted both for high-level German government communication and for military operations. Despite this, brilliant research by Polish scientists uncovered its method of operation and intensive work by code-breakers at Bletchley Park during the Second World War enabled much Enigma traffic to be read.
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