Click for homepage
Hagelin
Pin-wheel
  
C-37 →
← C-35
  
Hagelin C-36
Pin-and-lug cipher machine

The C-36 is one of the first mechanical pin-and-lug cipher machines developed around 1939 by the Swede Boris Hagelin and sold by his company AB Cryptoteknik in Stockholm (Sweden). It is larger than its predecessor, the C-35. There are versions with movable and fixed lugs. The C-36 would eventually evolve into the C-38 and the M-209 — the US Army workhorse during WWII.

Like the C-35 it has five pin-wheels, but the distribution of the lugs is slightly different. The respective wheels have 17, 19, 21, 23 and 25 pins, that can be configured by the user, giving a maximum cipher period of 3,900,225 [1].

The initial version of this machine has fixed lugs on the bars, but there were also versions with movable bars, such as the one shown in the image on the right, with serial number 8-122. It domonstrates that the machine was constantly being improved at the time and that different versions were supplied to different customers.
  
Right view

A later version of the C-36, designated C-362, was an improved version of the machine. The machine contained a number of changes, but the most imported difference was the fact that the lugs had been made movable, like in the later C-38/M-209, making it more secure. This brings the C-362 closer to the M-209, whilst the C-36 is closer to the design of the earlier C-35.

C-36 in brown wrinkle-paint case Front view Operate knob Printer with print wheel Right view C-36 with accessories C-26 with open case C-36 with open case - right view
A
×
A
1 / 8
C-36 in brown wrinkle-paint case
A
2 / 8
Front view
A
3 / 8
Operate knob
A
4 / 8
Printer with print wheel
A
5 / 8
Right view
A
6 / 8
C-36 with accessories
A
7 / 8
C-26 with open case
A
8 / 8
C-36 with open case - right view

Features
The diagram below provides a quick overview of the features of the C-36. The device is shown here with its cover open and with the hinged case lid also open. At the front right are the six pinwheels that normally protrude the case lid. At the rear is the drum, which has either fixed or movable lugs, depending on the version. At the front left is the A-Z letter selector/printer.

Click to see more

According to the number tag on the cover, the machine shown here is a C-36. However, it has movable lugs, which would normally be a feature of the C-362. This device was used by the French Army, during the Algerian War from 1954 to 1962 [5]. After the war it ended up in the office of the French military attaché in Gabon, who gave it as a present to a civil servant in 1967.

Versions and variants
As with all Hagelin cipher machines, the C-36 was available in a number of different versions and variants, sometimes customised for a particular client. This C-36 shown above, is significantly different from the one below, and both machines are different from the one on Wikipedia [1].

  • C-36
  • C-36A
  • C-362
  • C-362A
  • Green case (military) or red exterior with black interior (Navy)
  • Standard (Yale-type) lock or cross-type lock.
  • Lever or knob operated
  • Fixed or movable lugs
Help required — C-36 A
The image below shows the interior of a C-36A that was donated to Crypto Museum in February 2009 [2]. It had been supplied by Koopman & Co in Amsterdam, the official Hagelin reseller in the Netherlands, and used by the Dutch Navy in the 1930s. The machine shown here is incomplete.

A number of parts are missing from this machine, and it is likely that it was used as a 'parts donor' for the repair of other machines. Nevertheless, the cage, the pin-wheels and the rest of the mechanics are in good condition, making it a worthwhile restoration project. We are currently looking for the following parts:
  • Gearbox between crank and main cage axle, plus its cover.
  • Counter with cogwheel.
  • Inner lock with key.
  • Bottom part of the outer lock.
  
C-36 interior

This photograph shows the right hand side of the C-36. As you can see, the crank is present but the mechanics to move the drum are missing. These have probably been removed by a former owner in an attempt to repair the unit.

The most important parts that we need at the moment are the crank gear (on the right) and the counter with its cog-wheel. If you have any spare parts for this machine, please contact us. Your help is much appreciated. It would be nice to bring this beautiful machine back to life one day.
  
Missing crank gear

C-36A (closed) front view C-36A closed Front view of the C-36A Koopman & Co shield on the side of the C-36A C-36A (open) Interior of the C-36A Printer mechanics C-36 interior
The 5 pin-wheels of the C-36 The cage of the C-36 Collapsing the crank handle Main body of the C-36A (note the missing counter) Missing crank gear Missing crank gear Printer (note that the counter is missing) Missing inner lock
B
×
B
1 / 16
C-36A (closed) front view
B
2 / 16
C-36A closed
B
3 / 16
Front view of the C-36A
B
4 / 16
Koopman & Co shield on the side of the C-36A
B
5 / 16
C-36A (open)
B
6 / 16
Interior of the C-36A
B
7 / 16
Printer mechanics
B
8 / 16
C-36 interior
B
9 / 16
The 5 pin-wheels of the C-36
B
10 / 16
The cage of the C-36
B
11 / 16
Collapsing the crank handle
B
12 / 16
Main body of the C-36A (note the missing counter)
B
13 / 16
Missing crank gear
B
14 / 16
Missing crank gear
B
15 / 16
Printer (note that the counter is missing)
B
16 / 16
Missing inner lock

References
  1. Wikipedia, C-36 (cipher machine)
    Retrieved May 2012.

  2. Remmelt Warries, Hagelin C-36A cipher machine - THANKS !
    Crypto Museum, February 2012.

  3. Jerry Proc and contributors, Hagelin C-35 and C-36
    Retrieved December 2019.

  4. Jerry Proc and contributors, Hagelin C-362
    Retrieved December 2019.

  5. Wikipedia, Algerian War
    Retrieved December 2019.
Further information
Any links shown in red are currently unavailable. If you like the information on this website, why not make a donation?
Crypto Museum. Created: Wednesday 05 August 2009. Last changed: Sunday, 14 June 2020 - 10:28 CET.
Click for homepage