When a thrifty woman in Essex decided to finally get rid of the old dusty gadget she had in her garden shed, it didn’t cross her mind that she’ll be offering on eBay an extremely rare military-issued Lorenz teleprinter that the Nazis used during WWII.
A volunteer with the National Museum of Computing recently spotted the “telegram machine,” which was the missing piece in the efforts to rebuild Hitler’s complete encoding device.
After spotting the missing component online and receiving a long-term loan from the Norwegian Armed forces museum in Oslo of the Lorenz Sz42 chipper machine , the National Museum of Computing is now seeking for the final pieces so they can completely restore the encoder.
A volunteer engineer with the NMC John Whetter, told the Guardian
“To do that we have to replace some missing components, in particular the drive motor – and it’s the drive motor that’s our next quest,”
When the eagled eyed volunteer spotted the Lorenz Teleprinter it was described as “telegram machine ” and the first bid was £9.50.
“I think it was described as a telegram machine, but we recognized it as a Lorenz teleprinter,” Whetter said.
To be sure that the piece is the authentic Lorenz Teleprinter they rang the owner and headed to Essex. “The person took us down the garden to the shed and in the shed was the Lorenz teleprinter in its original carrying case”
Along with the chipper machine from Norway, the museum almost has the complete set of encryption, interception and decryption and are one step closer to revealing the secret of how the allies broke Germany’s secret codes.
The Lorenz chipper is more complex than the iconic Enigma code, it could be broken only thanks to the Bill Tutte, who deduced the structure of a Lorenz machine without ever having seen one.
The NMC is calling for people across the country to search in their attics, garden sheds and basement for a small size rugby ball looking device with spindles poking out of either end.
quotes found at The Guardian