25 October, 2005

The Eight-Rotor Printing Enigma

The German military versions of the Enigma are well-known because of the historical significance of their decipherment during World War II. However, there are some other lesser-known commercial versions of Enigma, and a remarkable example of one of these is on display in a museum in Budapest (first picture, courtesy Eric Tischer). While the standard German military model had 3 rotors, and even the high-security M4 machine used on U-boat networks had 4 rotors, this rare early Enigma model had no less than 8 rotors.

A paper by Louis Kruh and Cipher Deavours ("The Commercial Enigma: Beginnings of Machine Cryptography," Cryptologia, 26(1), pp. 1–16, 2002) includes a copy of a flier for this machine, titled "The Printing Enigma". This machine, which dates from the 1920s, is distinct from two other large and bulky early commercial Enigma variants (models A and B)

According to the flyer, the machine weighed about 50kg, and measured 65cm by 45cm by 35cm (length, width and height). It printed "the plaintext in original form with letters, numbers, punctuation, word divisions". I presume it did this using a figure shift mechanism, rather than having rotors with a large number of contacts, as that the rotors seem to be labelled A-Z. The machine also printed the ciphertext into rows of 50 and groups of 5 letters. There's not much information on it cryptographically, other than the somewhat obscure claims that it had "17,576 periods / each period is 15,777,450 symbols" and that "any one of the 227,304,461,200 can be input in half a minute".

If anyone has any more information about this machine, I would love to hear about it. I'd also be interested to know the translations of the words on the large keys, which seem to be labelled "Ziffernu Zechen Zwischenraum" and "Buchstaben Zwischenraum".


Blogger Dirk Rijmenants said...

Wow! I have seen that picture before, but although it looked like a Enigma type machine, I did not believed it was a real Enigma. So Lou Kruh has a paper on it? I will follow the info that comes on the surface of this machine...hm another great sim candidat.

PS: Dou you know if it was actually put in production?

grtz, Dirk

6:09 pm  
Blogger Dirk Rijmenants said...


You reffer to Lou's cryptologia paper, but the flyer talks about the Enigma A, which was a 4 rotor machine. On the drawing, it's not clear if you see 4 rotors with 4 other 'things', or 8 rotors?!? It doesn't seem to match the description, neither looks like the bug on the photograph. Very mysterious thing. I can't find out which museum it is located in. Gonna try finding out more....

7:36 pm  
Blogger Matt Crypto said...

The Kruh and Deavours paper doesn't state that the machine in the flier is Enigma A (the layout is very unhelpful in that paper). The flier is in Figures 1 and 2. The paper does reference Enigma A in Figures 3 and 4, and Enigma B in Figure 5. The A and B machines look quite different from this model, as well as having different number of rotors.

9:13 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Matt,
You ask about the meaning of "Ziffernu Zechen Zwischenraum" and "Buchstaben Zwischenraum". Actually it is written: "Ziffern u. Zeichen Zwischenraum" and "Buchstaben Zwischenraum" which means "Numbers and Sign Space" and "Letter Space". It seems that the way the machine was built they wanted to differentiate between entering a space when in Numbers/Sign mode and Letter mode. This might have something to do with the printing.
The machine is not an Enigma A but rather a machine they called "Die Schreibende Enigma-Chiffriermaschine" which in 1929 was sold for 8000 RM (Reichsmark).
It is possible this machine also had a letter designation but so far we don't know what it is.
It is indeed a beautiful machine.

8:20 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

eycga [url=http://www.beatsheadphonesuksale.co.uk]beats by dre[/url] fasdlcts http://www.beatsheadphonesuksale.co.uk fgcffgznx nlqojx [url=http://www.cheapbeatsukheadphonesale.co.uk]dr dre beats[/url] ohfchocuhttp://www.cheapbeatsukheadphonesale.co.uk kfbzuhhab emynip [url=http://www.cheapbeatsbydreuksales.co.uk]dr dre beats[/url] hajiltrq http://www.cheapbeatsbydreuksales.co.uk zxhsfwrfq yssgof [url=http://www.cheapbeatsbydresaleuk.co.uk]cheap beats by dre[/url] artokeru http://www.cheapbeatsbydresaleuk.co.uk zddzwxvsy etzldb [url=http://www.cheap-beatsbydreuk.co.uk]cheap beats by dre[/url] oruuwshn http://www.cheap-beatsbydreuk.co.uk ldhswixsn wvidck [url=http://www.beatsbydrdreukonsale.co.uk]beats by dre[/url] ospnzcxr http://www.beatsbydrdreukonsale.co.uk coupvxhcp z

1:08 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

clwtc [url=http://www.beatsheadphonesuksale.co.uk]cheap beats by dre[/url] ieywvjxf http://www.beatsheadphonesuksale.co.uk ztqanmdex pxkioh [url=http://www.cheapbeatsukheadphonesale.co.uk]beats by dre[/url] hlsvkstkhttp://www.cheapbeatsukheadphonesale.co.uk nesvxizzc uxklfb [url=http://www.cheapbeatsbydreuksales.co.uk]dr dre beats[/url] cdbtvhhg http://www.cheapbeatsbydreuksales.co.uk pbqezxjmz jbvmpq [url=http://www.cheapbeatsbydresaleuk.co.uk]dr dre beats[/url] vyhrdmay http://www.cheapbeatsbydresaleuk.co.uk vwmpbfsek wkiunu [url=http://www.cheap-beatsbydreuk.co.uk]dr dre beats[/url] dgtodjph http://www.cheap-beatsbydreuk.co.uk erzizhxgc cibmaa [url=http://www.beatsbydrdreukonsale.co.uk]cheap beats by dre[/url] zumwuxme http://www.beatsbydrdreukonsale.co.uk bjwcsjqeg v

10:15 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

nhlhz [url=http://www.beatsheadphonesuksale.co.uk]dr dre beats[/url] vvvockiy http://www.beatsheadphonesuksale.co.uk bafalhxrx jspnpk [url=http://www.cheapbeatsukheadphonesale.co.uk]cheap beats by dre[/url] arowoalwhttp://www.cheapbeatsukheadphonesale.co.uk megvthrxv uwndff [url=http://www.cheapbeatsbydreuksales.co.uk]beats by dre[/url] jqiimmzp http://www.cheapbeatsbydreuksales.co.uk cdygggyif dovqhx [url=http://www.cheapbeatsbydresaleuk.co.uk]cheap beats by dre[/url] folaqssp http://www.cheapbeatsbydresaleuk.co.uk kcpwfjeki ooupfm [url=http://www.cheap-beatsbydreuk.co.uk]dr dre beats[/url] dgwzjqcx http://www.cheap-beatsbydreuk.co.uk hydnabmnc srzeca [url=http://www.beatsbydrdreukonsale.co.uk]beats by dre[/url] nrknfvts http://www.beatsbydrdreukonsale.co.uk skxarlsfz i

10:42 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's really a great and useful piece of information. I'm hapрy that you just shaгed thіѕ helpful info with us.
Please stay us uρ to date like this.
Thanκs foг ѕharіng.

Feel free to suгf to my pаgе: trailer rental massachusetts

4:54 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's up to every one, the contents existing at this web page are truly amazing for people knowledge, well, keep up the good work fellows.

My web site ... lake lanier boat rentals island

8:34 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I blog frequently and I seriously thank you for your content.

Your article has truly peaked my interest. I will bookmark your
site and keep checking for new information about once per week.
I subscribed to your Feed too.

My web blog ... laser cellulite treatment

6:24 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to thank you for the efforts you have put in penning this blog.
I really hope to view the same high-grade content from you later
on as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has motivated me to get my very own blog now ;)

Feel free to surf to my weblog - Bessie

8:02 am  
Blogger Unknown said...

louis vuitton outlet
gucci outlet
michael kors uk
michael kors outlet clearance
michael kors outlet
oakley outlet
beats headphones
ray ban sunglasses discount
nike sb
louis vuitton outlet stores
supra sneakers
louis vuitton outlet
oakley vault
ralph lauren outlet
coach factorty outlet
oakley sunglasses
adidas originals
michael kors outlet
kevin durant shoes 8
cheap nfl jerseys
coach outlet
nike roshe runs
cheap oakley sunglasses
cheap jordans
kate spade handbags
coach outlet
ray ban sunglasses
ray ban sunglasses
michael kors handbags
coach outlet
cheap nfl jerseys
toms shoes
caoch outlet
christian louboutin shoes
ray ban sunglasses
louis vuitton outlet
ralph lauren polo
replica watches
nike air max
louis vuitton handbags

3:17 am  
Blogger Robert Anthony said...

Have you ever thought of choosing up something exclusive and amazing this year, apart from the regular outfit that you have been carrying? Well, if you challenge to outfit beyond the regular, then subjective printing are a great choose to be included to your clothing collection. This year, give your clothing collection some amazing styles that will brighten your design. crossword puzzle

5:46 am  
Blogger Unknown said...

huf clothing
jordan 32
longchamp bags
prada handbags
longchamp outlet
michael kors outlet
harry winston jewelry
coach outlet
guess factory
michael kors outlet

4:03 am  
Blogger Unknown said...


longchamp solde
jordan shoes
balmain jeans
michael kors outlet
golden state warriors jerseys
light up shoes
kate spade outlet
bulls jerseys
swarovski outlet
yeezy boost 350

3:15 am  

Post a Comment

<< Home