Historical Radio and Telex Based Teleprinter / Teletypers Used in Norway

I’ve recently visited one of the worlds oldest naval museums in Horten, Norway. There was a lot of interesting things to see, but in this story I’ll cover the Teleprinters I saw.

My motivation for writing this is that if you google internet in english, you don’t really get to see very much outside the english speaking world. I want to make available more information about historical technology usage in Norway to an international audience. The reason why this might be interesting is because in the 80s and earlier much more technology, machines and consumer products were made locally. The world was not quite as international as today.

Due to the proximity to Germany, which was for a long time a scientific and technological powerhouse of Europe, a lot of technical solutions and equipment in Norway in those days were of German origin. Teletypers and telex actually comes out of German research project in the 1920s.

Below is the German produced Siemens model 100 teletyper. I believe this one is from around the 1950s. It was used by Norwegian police for open and encrypted communications.

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I believe a lot of these communicated over radio and not just land lines. In the 30s and 40s a lot of communication with e.g. Germany and Norway would happen by teletyper radio communication as that would be cheaper than using a land line. Here is a video of the same machine in operation.

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This is the Siemens T-68, which was developed in 1951. I believe this was a precursor. Like the Siemens 100, you could connect it to a cipher machine for encrypted communications. This is what Enigma was, a cipher machine connected to a teletyper so that the messages sent out would be encrypted. On T-68 messages arrived directly on the punched tape instead of being printed out as letters on paper.

I took some pictures behind the machine, so you can see how the paper taped was fed into the machine.

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Punched tape readers and transmitters were sold as separate units then. These could be attached to a teletyper and a telex network or radio transmitter.

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Next we’ll look at historic sonar and echo sounder equipment developed in Horten, Norway.

Written by

Geek dad, living in Oslo, Norway with passion for UX, Julia programming, science, teaching, reading and writing.

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