In 1923 German electrical engineer and inventor Arthur Scherbius began marketing a mechanical cipher rotor machine based on rotating wired wheels, and called Enigma. Thousands of the machines are thought to have been produced from the 1920s to the end of World War II, during which the devices were used by the Third Reich to encrypt messages in a form they believed was undecipherable.
On September 11, 2011 a three-rotor Enigma machine in its original wooden box, and dated circa 1939, sold at Christie's London for £133,250. This was a record price for an Enigma Machine. The machine had been used in the 2001 film entitled Enigma.