The Enigma Machine
The device pictured here comes from the
college’s Archives and Special
Collections and is currently in President Anthony W. Marx’s office.
object, but no one at the college knows what its original purpose might have
been. To solve the mystery, we invite readers to send us their ideas. In the
summer issue of Amherst we will print some of the most interesting submissions,
among which, we hope, will be the correct answer.
The device is about 12 inches across and is seen here sitting on its flat wooden
platform; apparently, it would be removed from the platform for use. The raised
lid has a clip that restrains a spring-loaded brass oval, here shown released
and resting on top of a ring of brass arms. Each brass arm has at its narrow
end a sharp, upward-facing point. Those points form the innermost oval. The arms
are connected to padded, movable wooden rods hanging below the device.
If you think you know what this is, or if you have a particularly inventive guess,
e-mail College Editor Mark Cherrington or
write to Mark Cherrington, Office of Public Affairs, Amherst College, P O
Box 5000, Amherst, MA 01002-5000.
See more photos >>
Read the guesses we've received
so far >>