C0008

Enigma Schreibmax (printer) fragment
Title
Enigma Schreibmax (printer) fragment
Production date
c. 1942-1945
Additional Title information
A fragment of the tape printer for a naval M4 Enigma machine.
MATERIAL(s)
Zamak alloy, aluminium.
Type
Cipher machine accessory
DIMENSIONS
150 x 175 x 50 mm
Serial number(s)
Contributer(S)
COLLECTION NUMBER
C0008
CONDITION
Fair. Object stable, except for remains of plugboard connection, which is quite fragile.
Category / Subcategory (if applicable)
Location
Main collection (Durham, UK).
STATUS
In storage
provenance
Purchased from a German dealer.
Acquisition Date
Nov 2019
Associated object(S)
Record Last Updated
Aug 20, 2022
DESCRIPTION
A fragment of an Enigma Schreibmax, a small printer which attached to a naval M4 Enigma machine to print the encoded message. The Schreibmax replaced the need to take down the letters lighting up on the lamp board by hand. This example is in a fairly poor condition, but is nevertheless an extremely rare accessory. This fragment, which was discovered with the remains of an M4 Enigma machine, forms the left part of the base plate. On the top face of the fragment is a label that reads, "Bei gedrückter Taste des Schlüssels M Walzen nicht bewegen", although this is illegible due to corrosion.
Notes
The M3 and M4 naval Enigma machines were specifically designed for the Scheibmax to attach. The top lid of the wooden naval Enigma case can be removed and the top cover of the machine consists of a removable cover over the lamp panel. Under the base plate of the Scheibmax are 26 contacts. To mount the Scheibmax on the Enigma machine, the Enigma's 4.5V battery and the 26 light bulbs on the lamp panel needs to be removed to make way for the Schreibmax contacts. These attach to the spring-loaded sockets of the Enigma lamp panel when the Schreibmax is in place. The two bolts at the corners of the base plate are also screwed into place, attaching the Schreibmax to the Enigma. The base plate of the Schreibmax also has a rectangular cut out, leaving the rotors accessible to the operator.
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