Famous for being used by the Germans in World War 2 the device was used to send and receive encrypted messages, and with their destruction being commonplace in order to prevent enemies from getting their hands on one, they are thought to be extremely rare. This, coupled with their famous presence during the war and the technical brilliance of the encryption used by the devices for the time have meant that they are exceptionally rare to find and even rarer to be able to acquire.
Originally estimated to sell at Sotheby’s in London for between 50 and 70 thousand, an unnamed buyer purchased the device for a grand total of £149,000. Almost three times its lower initial estimate, and over twice the upper estimate, a price that is small compared to the impact the device has had on the world.
The enigma machine is famous for being cracked by Alan Turing and the others at Bletchley park after the creation of the Colossus, a machine considered to be one of the first implementations of modern computer design.
Thank you NBC News for the information.
Image courtesy of the BBC.