Demonstration of a Homemade Enigma Machine

During the first UK lockdown, Kellogg Fellow Dr Reuben Binns built a replica WWII Enigma machine at home. He gave us a demonstration during Bletchley Park Week in 2022. During this event he will discuss the project again, as well as explain the updates he has made since the previous demonstration.

The Enigma machine is a cypher device developed and used in the early- to mid-20th century to protect commercial, diplomatic, and military communication. It was employed extensively by Nazi Germany during World War II, in all branches of the German military.

This talk by Kellogg Fellow Reuben Binns will start with a presentation, including some background on the history of mechanical cypher machines like the Enigma which was broken at Bletchley park; why and how Reuben built his own during the Covid-19 lockdown, and updated it since; and some reflections on what this process taught him about the challenges of electromechanical computing, security and usability, and the changes in modern manufacturing and supply chains. This will be followed by a Q&A and a demonstration where you can see the homemade Enigma machine in action and have a go at encrypting and decrypting a message.

Refreshments will be provided from 10.30 am.

This event will be photographed and may be filmed. If you do not wish to appear in the photographs/footage, please let the photographer/videographer know. Should you have any further queries, or unable to attend after booking, please contact

This event is part of our annual Bletchley Park Week programme of events celebrating a partnership between Oxford and Bletchley Park. This year’s event is entitled ‘Oxford, British universities, and the Second World War: Intelligence and Beyond’