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"On This Date in History" Calendar

1983: Inventor Boris Hagelin Died.

Saturday, September 7, 2024

7 September 1983: Boris Hagelin, inventor of Converter M-209 cryptodevice, died on this date in 1983.

Boris Caesar Wilhelm Hagelin graduated from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm with a degree in mechanical engineering in 1914. Hagelin, as part of the company Aktiebolaget Cryptoteknik, designed several cryptographic machines beginning in the 1920s. At the outbreak of World War II, he escaped to the United States and won a contract with the U.S. Army for a medium-level cryptographic device: the M-209. More than 140,000 of the compact machines were built for the Army and Navy earning Hagelin millions of dollars in royalties. He was the first man to become a millionaire from cryptology.

Excerpt from "In 1940, Hagelin took his C-38 to the US and sold his design to the US government. This machine was manufactured by the L.C. Smith-Corona Typewriter Company under license from Hagelin's firm. 140,000 M-209s were made during WW2, making Hagelin the first and possibly only millionaire from selling cipher technology."


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