Lot 68
  • 68


15,000 - 20,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • A fully operational NEMA model 45 cipher machine. Uster, Switzerland, Zellwager A.-G., 1948.
  • aluminum, metal, glass, power source
Swiss NEMA Model 45 cipher machine, serial number 678, complete with 12 wheels consisting of: 1 rightmost red entry-wheel, or Eintrittzwalze (ETW), 1 leftmost reflector wheel, or Umkehrwalze (UKW), and 6 pairs of wheels (A12, B13, C14, D15, E17, and F18), each consisting of 1 electrically wired coding wheel and 1 stepping wheel, all 12 with 26 positions for each letter of the alphabet. "QWERTZ" keyboard with 31 white on black bakelite keys consisting of the 26 letters of the alphabet, "BU" and "ZL" keys to toggle between letters and numbers, carriage return "WR" key, and two blank keys, plus metal space bar; combined rotor cover and light panel with letters A-Z, metal manufacturer's label reading "Zellweger A.-G. Apparate- u. Maschinenfabriken. Uster. Type: T-D No.: 678", metal power source toggle switch, two nodes for connecting external 4-volt power source, counter re-set lever, panel lifting to reveal 26 light bulbs, rotor & reflector compartment, and battery compartment. In the original locking metal carrying case with leather handle (14¼ x 12¾ x 5¾ in.), case stenciled with "678" and "TD687," lid with paper label in French, German, and Italian ("Ne délivrer qu'en cas de mobilisation de guerre!"), inside of lid fitted with 16 spare bulbs, external lamp panel for extra security, mains cable with Edison fitting, contact brush, and the extra wheels E17 & F18. WITH: Original NEMA Insuction manual, printed in French & German.

Catalogue Note

A RARE, FULLY OPERATIONAL SWISS NEMA CIPHER MACHINE, ONE OF THE FEW "KRIEGSMOBILMACHUNGS-MASCHINE" RESERVED FOR USE IN WARTIME AND KEPT LOCKED AWAY IN MILITARY STORAGE. When the Swiss discovered that their Enigma traffic was being intercepted by both the Germans and the French, their they developed their own electromechanical wheel-based cipher machine known as the NEMA (Neue Machine). Between 1941-43, a team of mathematicians including Hugo Hadwiger, Heinrick Emil Weber, Paul Glu, and Captain Arthur Alder worked to develop the machine, with the first prototype being developed in 1944, and production starting in 1946, too late to assist the war efforts.

A total of 640 machines were built by the manufacturer, with numbers TD-100 to TD-199 being issued for use by the Foreign office, numbers TD-200 to TD-419 being used in training, and numbers TD-420 to TD-740 being Operational Machines reserved for use in war. The Operational Machines were slightly different in operation, with different notches on the stepping wheels, two extra wheels stored in the lid, and a paper label on the lid in French, German, and Italian indicating that they were only to be used in the event of war. The Swiss Army used the NEMA after WWII until it was replaced by other more advanced cipher machines, such as the Hagelin. The NEMA was officially declassified on July 9th, 1992.