Cipher Machine Component Associated with Edward Hebern - Rotor Component

Cipher Machine Component Associated with Edward Hebern - Rotor Component

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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 object is bakelite with an aluminum center piece; cloth-covered green wires; and copper (?) lugs. The disc is indented at center. The lettered lug of each wire is screwed down. The wWire then passes across the indentation; goes through a hole in side of rotor; comes back through the rim, and is attached in the same circle of holes as the lettered lugs.
Currently not on view
Object Name
rotor component
Edward Hebern
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
cloth (overall material)
plastic (overall material)
overall: 6 cm x 16 cm x 16 cm; 2 3/8 in x 6 5/16 in x 6 5/16 in
ID Number
nonaccession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of T. Scripps Downing
Codes and Ciphers
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Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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