Examples of the original Enigma M4 code machine.
I designed an exhibition at work called ‘Cracked! A History of Codes and Codebreaking’. We obviously needed to include the most famous modern encryption machine of them all: the WWII German ‘Enigma’, and ideally wanted to sit one proudly in a display case at the entrance to the exhibition.
We had a problem in that the originals are very rare, and very valuable – way beyond our budget. So, we attempted to search for a replica or a prop, but drew a complete blank. Nobody was making them.
Out of options, and with a few months until the opening of the exhibition, I decided to attempt and make one. After a lot of research, I picked the version I wanted to copy (the Enigma M4, examples above), and took the plunge, learning and improvising as I went…