This is an original, museum-quality Cold War-era Russian Fialka cipher machine and power supply.

This Russian cipher machine, code named “Fialka,” was developed after World War II and is an electromechanical, wheel-based code-generating and decoding machine. Its development was based loosely on the German Enigma machine, with rotors moving to a new position each time a key is pressed, creating a new electrical circuit and an alphabetic substitution for the letter that was pressed. However, the Fialka incorporates a number of different features from the Enigma that made it a much more daunting cipher-generating machine. These features include the use of 10 rotors (each with 30 contacts), wheels rotating in opposite directions, and more frequent wheel stepping. In addition, the rotors could be quickly rewired in the field, and input and output from the machine was accelerated via the use of punched paper tape. 

Being regularly produced starting in 1956, the Fialka quickly become a primary cipher machine for all of the Warsaw Pact countries and Cuba. Each country had the Fialka keyboard modified to their language and had specially wired rotors. The Fialka was in use by Russia and its allies well into the 1990s, and very little information was available about this machine until 2005. Few Fialka machines remain as they were systematically destroyed by the Soviet Union and its predecessors as the machines have been taken out of service.

This Fialka is Serial Number 98-70248. The serial number of the box matches the serial numbers located on the interior of the machine. The Fialka power supply is Serial Number 98-70230. Included with the Fialka and the power supply is an English version of an operator’s manual as well as a Russian Cold War-era telegraph key. While the machine does power up and the primary electric motor does function, we do not guarantee that this machine is fully functional. It is not supplied with a power cord and should only be connected to the power supply by a qualified electrician.

This Fialka cipher machine is a very rare and important piece of Cold War history. This cipher machine is located in the United States.

($32,500 USD)


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