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Enigma Restoration Materials
Many Enigma machines were built, but only a few have survived. Most of these are now in the hands of museums and private collectors. Some of these machines are in very good condition (cosmetically), but many are not in working condition. If you have an Enigma machine that doesn't work, it might be a good idea to bring it to life and preserve it to some extend. Using the machine frequently will clean the contacts and keep the moving parts moving. In our experience, deterioration of a machine is slowed down, or even halted, when it is used frequently.

When restoring an Enigma machine, you may need some (reproduction) parts in order to bring the machine back to its original state. Some of these parts are listed below; others are available from various sources, listed at the bottom of this page.
Reproduction Enigma Battery (Standard)
Most Enigma machines use a standard 4.5 Volt batteries that was commonly available in those days. Unfortunately, only a few people have found an original battery and all of these are, of course, now empty. Such batteries can not be recharged.
Günter Hütter in Austria has produced modern good looking replicas of the original Wehrmacht battery. They have all the labels, stamps and marks from the original, but are empty and contain a modern battery holder for 3 AA-cells (penlight).

These batteries are suitable for all 3-wheel Army Enigma machines used by the Wehrmacht and Luftwaffe during WWII. They will also fit most of the earlier (commercial) Enigma machines.

No longer available

Inserting the battery into a Zählwerk Enigma The battery inside a Zählwerk Enigma

Reproduction Battery for Enigma M4
The 4-wheel Naval Enigma variant, the M4, not only has an extra wheel, but uses a different battery as well. The size of the battery used for this machine is not very common and only a few have been found inside a machine (empty, of course). These batteries were made by a variety of manufacturers, including the one shown here.
Günter Hütter in Austria has produced a limited quantity of accurate replica batteries, especially for the Enigma M4. The batteries match the original size. The contact strips and labels are all identical to the original. Click the image to view it at close-up.

The batteries are empty and can be opened easily. Inside them is a modern holder for 3 AA-size (penlight) batteries in order to produce the necessary 4.5 Volt for proper operation.

 Now available from our shop

Inserting the Tanax battery into an Enigma M4 The Tanax battery inside an M4

Enigma Lamp films
The lamp film of an Enigma machine is made of celluloid, one of the earliest plastics. Unfortunately, celluloid has the tendency to shrink over time and become brittle.
   Furthermore, it is very flammable and in many cases has burn marks as a result of the use of incorrect lamps. The image on the left shows a damaged lamp film where the lamp has protruded the letters 'I', 'O', and some others.

Over time, various typefaces have been used for the original films, but the most common one is the fat typeface shown on the left. This typeface is found on most Enigma machines used by the German Army and also by the earlier commercial Enigma machines, but other typefaces do exist.

We now have a limited number of reproduction lamp films available. These films are professionally made lithos and the lamps will not shine throug the black parts.
The original typeface has been carefully reconstructed, including the mistakes and jaggy edges, and the colour of the letters has been faded somewhat (often called 'off-white). Different shades of faded white are available, so that it matches the age of the machine and the original lamp film.

At present, only the common bold typeface is available. Other typefaces are currently in production.

 Available from our shop

Two different kinds of replica lamp films, with deep yellow colour Two different kinds of replica lamp films, with deep yellow colour Cracked celluloid lamp film Cracked celluloid lamp film Cracked celluloid lamp film

Enigma lamps
One of the most problematic parts of an Enigma machine are without doubt the lamps. Many people have tried ordinary bicycle lamps but in many cases these will penetrate and damage the lamp film.
Originally, flat-faced lamps were used for all Enigma machines. These are no longer in production and originals are a rare find at flea markets.

Glen Miranker in the USA has arranged a limited production of very good looking replica lamps, built to the original specifications. They are available from Jim Oram.

 Reproduction lamps (off-site)

Other sources for reproduction materials
  • Jim Oram (enigma-replica.com)
    For his Enigma Replica project, Jim Oram has produced many replica materials. Some of these are now available directly from him. Jim also sells the reproduction Enigma bulbs shown above.

Further information

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© Copyright 2009-2013, Paul Reuvers & Marc Simons. Last changed: Wednesday, 23 May 2012 - 09:47 CET
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