WW2 Enigma Machine Keyboard Typeface

a_gray's picture

Hi Folks,

Does anyone here recognise the typeface used on the keyboard of the WW2 German Enigma coding machines? I've been searching the web for Grotesk typefaces, but have yet to find one with correct Q, R and E characters. I'm wondering if it was a custom face?

Many thanks for your time, a_g

quadibloc's picture

I think this Enigma was restored with keys from an old typewriter in the English-speaking world.

The letters appear to have been made using a Leroy lettering guide.

Renaissance Man's picture

Not Leroy lettering.

Renaissance Man's picture

Here's a picture of the Enigma from the Wehrtechnische Sammlung in Koblenz:


Sorry, no font info.

riccard0's picture

Q seems different.

quadibloc's picture

Here is an image of a computer keyboard which, while unusual in one way, is like many other typical old-style computer keyboards (before the IBM PC changed the normal design of keys on a computer keyboard) in having the lettering for the keys originally mastered using a Leroy lettering guide.

The letter G on both Enigmas pictured indeed doesn't match what is there; the Q on the first one does, and the other letters seem very similar to me. In Germany, the standard used for lettering in drafting is very different from what is normal in the United States; the same standard is used in Russia, and is visible in illustrations in many Russian-language technical books, at least of the Soviet era.

The Q in the second image resembles that seen on Enigmas with plastic keys rather than windowed metal keys.

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