A British Typex Cipher Machine
English circa 1938
Designed for field use this Typex Mark III comes in the original wooden carrying case marked CAUTION HANDLE WITH CARE. DO NOT DROP. STORES REF. No. 10G/372. MACHINE TYPEX MARK III. SERIAL NO. 450. A metal plaque on the Typex machine has the same serial number 450. This machine lacks rotors. the crank handle loose in case.
43 x 50 x 30 cm. 19 x 11 x 15

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Lot Essay

Typex is the UK adaption of the German Enigma machine. This wheel-based electro-mechanical cipher machine was developed in 1934 by Wing Commander OGW Lywood and the first batch of 30 Typex Mark I machines were supplied to the RAF in 1937.

The Typex Mark II was created the year after, this model was much larger than the Enigma machine as it incorporated 2 printers: one for plain text and one for ciphertext.

Typex Mark III was a handle-operated variant (it was also possible to attach a motor drive) designed for use in the field as a more portable version of the original Typex machine.

Typex machines continued in use long after World War II. Although in the UK they were replaced in the 1950s by modern encryption machines in other commonwealth countries their use continued into the 1960s and 1970s.

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