Boris Caesar Wilhelm

Managing Real Estate Broker with Fathom Realty PB00068179

Boris Caesar Wilhelm Hagelin was born in Adshikent, Azerbaijan.  He attended Lundsberg Boarding School.  After graduation, he enrolled at the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden.  He graduated with a mechanical engineering degree in 1914.  At the beginning of WWII, he moved from Sweden to Switzerland carrying the design for a new machine he had been working on.

His trip took him through Germany including Berlin before reaching Genoa.  His design was small and cheap.  He convinced the United States Military to adopt it.  Many tens of thousands were made and he became a millionaire.  He died in 1983.

What you may not know about Boris is that he was the inventor of the modern (WWII era) encryption machine.  The most popular was the M-209

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Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning James. Once again I can say not a clue. Boris did play a large role in WWII. Enjoy your day!

May 23, 2020 04:30 AM #1
Donald Urschalitz
Lubeck Realty Group - Jupiter, FL
P.A. Realtor ABR RSPS North Palm Beach County

Well that saved many lives and he deserved the dollars he made from it.

May 23, 2020 04:50 AM #2
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

that was a big invention in WWII - glad that he was on our side! Have a great day

May 23, 2020 05:01 AM #3
Raymond E. Camp
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Ontario, NY
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester

Good morning James,

I had no idea, but he must have been good at keeping a secret.

Make yourself an astonishing day.

May 23, 2020 05:33 AM #4
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Good morning again, James... an interesting (and important) invention from a man with a very unique and interesting name.

May 23, 2020 05:46 AM #5
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

It is kind of sad that there was and is even a need for an encryption machine.

May 23, 2020 06:21 AM #6
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much, James, for sharing this interesting story.

Have a great day and a very special weekend.

May 23, 2020 06:38 AM #7
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

From Wikipedia....

Born of Swedish parents in AdshikentAzerbaijan, Hagelin attended Lundsberg boarding school and later studied mechanical engineering at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, graduating in 1914. He gained experience in engineering through work in Sweden and the United States.

His father Karl Wilhelm Hagelin worked for Nobel in Baku,[1] but the family returned to Sweden after the Russian revolution. Karl Wilhelm was an investor in Arvid Gerhard Damm's company Aktiebolaget Cryptograph, established to sell rotor machines built using Damm's 1919 patent. Boris Hagelin was placed in the firm to represent the family investment. In 1925, Hagelin took over the firm, later reorganising it as Aktiebolaget Cryptoteknik in 1932. His machines competed with ScherbiusEnigma machines, but sold rather better.

At the beginning of World War II, Hagelin moved from Sweden to Switzerland, all the way across Germany and through Berlin to Genoa, carrying the design documents for the company's latest machine, and re-established his company there (it still operates as Crypto AG in Zug). That design was small, cheap and moderately secure, and he convinced the US military to adopt it. Many tens of thousands of them were made, and Hagelin became quite wealthy as a result. Hagelin fraudulently sold compromised machines to a variety of customers[2][3]. Historian David Kahn has suggested that Hagelin was the only cypher-machine maker who ever became a millionaire.

Boris was the great-grandfather of Carl Hagelin, current NHL player for the Washington Capitals.

Boris Hagelin
An M-209 designed by Hagelin
May 23, 2020 06:41 AM #8
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

James - that was an very important invention.  The code encryption was so important in war.

May 23, 2020 06:48 AM #9
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

Interesting man, and history. I think the Germans had their own experts who invented the Enigma as well.

May 23, 2020 07:07 AM #10
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Fathom Realty Washington LLC - Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!

Thank you again for another person of history. You have taught me more history than my first 12 years of public school...

happy Saturday James Dray 

May 23, 2020 07:57 AM #11
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Amazing James at what some people have done to help the war effort in World war II.


May 23, 2020 09:17 AM #12
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


Another wonderful. and interesting post.  I see that Roy Kelley has substituted for Barbara Todaro today.  A

May 23, 2020 11:49 AM #13
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi James Dray - War sometimes creates necessity doesn't it?  

May 23, 2020 01:24 PM #14
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi James-All of the people who you highlight certainly deserve recognition !!!

May 23, 2020 02:27 PM #15
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

That was certainly an important invention for the times. And nice for him to have derived some financial benefit from it as well!

May 23, 2020 02:51 PM #16
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Ward County Notary Services - Minot, ND
Owner of Ward Co. Notary Services, retired Realtor

What a great idea for an invention James Dray . Prior to his invention I've heard many stories of the "code talkers" which were Native Americans who's language was only spoken and never recorded.

May 23, 2020 06:50 PM #17
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