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Hagelin C-37
Pin-and-lug cipher machine - wanted item

C-37 is a pin-and-lug cipher machine, developed around 1937 by the Swede Boris Hagelin and sold by his company AB Cryptoteknik in Stockholm (Sweden). It is the short-lived successor to the C-36 and was itself succeeded in 1938 by the C-38. The latter evolved into the American M-209.

Like its predecessor, the device has five cipher wheels with fixed lugs. It is slightly larger than the C-36 and has more space internally. It is likely that it was an experimental version that was developed in parallel with the C-36/C-362.

Very few of these machines were made, as at rapidly evolved into the six-wheel C-38/M-209. The image on the right shows one of the few surviving units of the internal collection of the British intelligence service GCHQ. It was shown at the Enigma Reunion at Bletchley Park in 2009. Images have been kindly provided by GCHQ [1].
Hagelin C-37 front view

The machine shown here has French text on its cover and was made for the French market — probably the French Navy — by L.M. Ericsson (the telephone company) in Colombes, just north of Paris, under licence of the Hagelin Company. A few years earlier, L.M. Ericsson had been licenced to produce Hagelin's first cipher machine — the B-21 — for its South American subsidaries.

The C-37 was not only used by the French Navy, but also for French-British liaisons, which is likely the reason for its presence in the GCHQ collection. At present, no further information about the Hagelin C-37 is available. If you know more about this device, please let us know.

Hagelin C-37 front view
Hagelin C-37 interior
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Hagelin C-37 front view
2 / 2
Hagelin C-37 interior

  • Device
    Portable mechanical cipher machine
  • Class
    Pin-and-lug (pin-wheel)
  • Manufacturer
    L.M. Ericsson
  • Country
  • Inventor
    Boris Hagelin
  • Predecessor
  • Successor
    C-38 / M-209
  • Pin-wheels
  • Segments
  • Lock
    Cross, or cylinder
  • Operation
  • Lugs
  • Colour
  • Dimensions
  • Weight
  • Quantity
  1. GCHQ, Photographs of Hagelin C-37 shown on this page
    November 2012. Crown Copyright. 1
  1. Reproduced here by kind permission of Director GCHQ.

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Crypto Museum. Created: Monday 05 November 2012. Last changed: Sunday, 02 July 2023 - 07:01 CET.
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