Transvertex was a Swedish manufacturer of ciphering machines
(crypto). The company started life in the early 1950s and was taken over by
LM Ericsson in 1969. Over the years they manufactured a
range of encryption devices,
mainly for use by the Swedish Army, but also for other countries.
The company was established by Per-Erik Ahlman, W. Jonsson and Vigo Lindstein
at a meeting on 12 July 1950.
The initial goal was to manufacture the so-called HC cipher machine,
developed by Vigo Lindstein in the late 1940s.
As Lindstein was a former employee of
Boris Hagelin he had to avoid patent
The HC-machine would later evolve into the well-known HC-9
Not much happened after the initial meeting, and it wasn't until 15 January 1951,
when the founders met again, that the company was officially established
with Lindstein as CEO.
The initial name of the company was Invertex, hence the logo of the
interwoven letters I and X.
The first machine to be manufactured by Invertex was the SA-1 Teletype Ciphering
As the name Invertex was already registred by another company, the name
was changed to AB Transvertex, but the original logo was kept.
Transvertex arrived at the scene at a time when Boris Hagelin was
moving his company
AB Cryptoteknik (later: Hagelin, later: Crypto AG)
from Sweden to Switzerland in order to circumvent new Swedish export laws.
Transvertex cipher machines on this website
During WWII, Transvertex co-founder Vigo Waldemar Lindstein worked for
LM Ericsson Kassa Register (Cash Registers). As he was a gifted engineer,
he was given the task to devise a machine for the automatic decryption of
the Siemens T-52 A/B Geheimschreiber,
that was used by the German Army .
The T-52 had been broken by the Swedish cryptanalist Arne Beurling in May
1940, and Beurling wanted Lindstein to build a machine that simulated the
In August 1940 the machine (called 'app') was ready and by the end of 1940,
after a series of improvements, 33 such machines were in operation.
After his work on the Geheimschreiber, Lindstein became Chief Engineer
at the Hagelin company (AB Cryptoteknik),
which is where he gained his knowledge of pin-wheel based cipher machines.
Back in 1935, Hagelin's C-35 had been the first
fully mechanical pin-wheel machine.
Hagelin's company was well-known to Ericsson, as they supplied their
first cipher machine, the B-21,
to Ericsson for sending secure messages over insecure telephone lines
in South-America . Some of these machines were even built by
Ericsson under license of Hagelin.
In the early 1950s, the Swedish government passed a law that put restrictions
on the export of cipher machines and Boris Hagelin made plans to move his
company to Switzerland. Linstein left the company and teamed up with
Per-Erik Ahlman and W. Johnsson to form a new company that would become known
Over the years, Transvertex manufactured a range of mechanical and electronic
cipher machines, mainly for the Swedish Army. Some of their machines found
their way into other countries, such as Brasil and Argentina.
In the early years, most of the design work was done by Vigo Waldemar
Lindstein and Per Erik Ahlman. in the early 1960s, their work was taken
over by Bengt Florin of Hagersten (Finland) and Kalevi Loimaranta of
Mattby (Finland) .
In December 1969, Transvertex was bought by the Swedish telephone equipment
manufacturer Telefonaktiebolaget L.M. Ericsson, currently known as Ericsson.
Lindstein was CEO until the takeover by Ericsson .
In the early 1950s, Transvertex developed the
HC-9 cipher machine for the Swedish Army. It's a fully mechanical
machine that physically resembles Hagelin cipher machines, such as
the M-209, but uses a punched card
instead of pin-wheels.
➤ More information
Over the years, a number of patents have been filed on behalf of
Transvertext, in a variety of countries.
In the beginning most designs were made by Vigo Lindstein and
Per-Erik Ahlman. In later years patents were often attributed
to Florin Bengt and Loimaranta Kalevi (both from Finland).
We've listed the patents that we have found on a separate page.
You can help us by finding more patents.
➤ More information
SA-1Teletype Ciphering Machine
HC-9Portable mechanical cipher machine
HC-110Compact offline electronic ciphering device
TC-213Online/offline cipher machine for teleprinters (telex)
SV-250Speech encryption device
ST-320Military voice encryption device for radio
CD-410Multiplexed digital data encryptor with PCM and CVSD
TD-265Full-duplex line encryptor with HDLC
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© Crypto Museum. Created: Tuesday 04 August 2009. Last changed: Saturday, 24 February 2018 - 22:31 CET.