Prototype Hebern Cipher Machine Component


The American inventor Edward Hebern (1869-1952) designed a series of machines for encrypting messages. The Smithsonian collections include a few of these as part of accession 1991.0190. Like many inventors, Hebern accumulated a variety of spare parts. These are some of them, part of museum transaction 1991.3033.

This device includes a black motor on a metal base. A vertical bakelite circuit board is in front of the motor. Green wires from the top of the circuit board attach to a wheel to the right of the motor which is apparently driven by it. Red wires from the bottom of the circuit board are held together with tape and attach to a socket. There are lettered lugs at the ends of the red wires that attach to the circuit board.

Maker: Edward Hebern

Location: Currently not on view

Subject: MathematicsCodes and Ciphers


See more items in: Medicine and Science: Mathematics


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Gift of T. Scripps Downing

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 1991.3033.119Nonaccession Number: 1991.3033Catalog Number: 1991.3033.119

Object Name: cipher machine component

Measurements: overall: 17.5 cm x 34 cm x 30 cm; 6 7/8 in x 13 3/8 in x 11 13/16 in


Record Id: nmah_693222

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