M-209-B CIPHER MACHINE, SUPPLIED BY SMITH CORONA. American, 1944.
Lot 1259
M-209-B CIPHER MACHINE, SUPPLIED BY SMITH CORONA.
American, 1944.
Sold for US$ 3,500 inc. premium

Voices of the 20th Century

6 Dec 2017, 13:00 EST

New York

Lot Details
M-209-B CIPHER MACHINE, SUPPLIED BY SMITH CORONA.
American, 1944. Plaque with serial number 54938: CACH/ 6919-PHILA-1944 to upper cover. Green metal casing with 6 adjustable key wheels at the front, left side enciphering knob and power lever on the right, letters printed on paper tape, complete with lid, canvas shoulder bag, technical manual, and additional paper tape. 185 x 145 x 88 mm, in canvas bag.

The M-209 was designed by the Swedish cryptographer, Boris Hagelin for the USA armed forces, and used throughout World War II. It continued in service though the Korean War. Text was entered one letter at a time, by setting the alphabet ring at the left to the desired position and turning the black knob at the right one full revolution, until a letter is printed on a paper tape at the left, by the built-in printer. While good for its time, the M-209 was considered secure for tactical messages whose importance was short-lived. Its greatest strength was that it needed no power source to function.
Activities
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  1. Ian Ehling
    Specialist - Books, Maps, Manuscripts and Historical Photographs
    Bonhams
    Work
    580 Madison Avenue
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    Work +1 212 644 9094
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