Pawn Stars: A WWII Morse Code Machine Is Worth Less Than Seller Thought (S10) | History


– Hey. How can I help you?
– Hi. I’ve got a 1943 World War II
Morse code decipher machine. Wow. You gotta realize, most of the
World War II coding machines were still illegal to have
up to like, 10 years ago. No, literally, you could go to
prison for a long, long time for having one. Even World War II ones. No one here in a black car
followed you or anything, did they? No, I– No. I think I’m good. It’s a machine that they
use, deciphering Morse code. I got it from a friend
of mine about a year ago, and it’s kind of cool,
but money’s cooler. I’m going to ask $300 for it. I’ll take a little
less, but not too much. We’ll have to see how that goes. It’s mega intriguing, OK? Militaries have
always used code. Almost all the messages
were used through telegraph, and during World
War II they were really difficult to decode. Sometimes we broke them,
sometimes we didn’t. Code breaking was very, very
important during World War II. And if you screwed up in your
Morse code just a little bit, people could die. So if it’s what he
says it is, I would love to have this in my shop. So do you know if it works? It turns on. I haven’t run a tape
through it, so– There’s obviously a lot of
vacuum tubes, or something, to make it this damn heavy. Yes. Yeah, it’s extremely heavy. That’s World War II
technology right there. [laughter] It’s all here. It’s all the original wiring. I like it. So how much do you want for it? Well, I was going to ask $300. OK. I want to call
somebody up who will tell me what the hell this is. Oh– works for me. He would be
impressed, and he will know if you’re going
to prison or not, so hang out like 15
minutes, all right? This is the Super
Enigma version of a World War II decoder, or
a really weird film projector. I don’t know. Apparently you put
something Morse code in, and it beeps out the other end. TG-34-A. This
was one of the most used types of Morse equipment
that we had in World War II. I did bring something
down here that I think will help
you to understand exactly what this is. OK. And that is– secret code? That is actually the
tape that goes into this. How the hell do you have that? To be perfectly honest,
this was in my garage. So I figured I’d bring it
down, so that you could see it. OK. Um– yeah, you are
just one weird guy. [laughter] But this would actually
be on a reel like this, and it would beep,
either with dits or dots. Dits or dots? Dits or dots. Dips are the short beeps,
dots are the long beeps. But most men who went into the
service didn’t know Morse code. They had to be taught. This is a training machine. Oh, wow. Um– A machine like this was
really important because one dit or dot wrong, and
you can completely throw off battle,
throw off a plan, tell people to go
to the wrong place. So it was very
important that you were actually being
trained to do it precisely as you were hearing it. So this was not used in
the battlefield, obviously. No. This was used in the states,
in a classroom setting. Yes. This is a training unit. OK. All right, well, thanks, man. I know exactly what I have now. All righty. During World War II, Morse
code was the common language that could be used. It’s one of those codes
that a lot of people know, but in the military you had to
be so exact that you had to go back to school to learn it.
– You know what? It looks like it’s
in good shape. I have no idea if I can sell it. I’ll give you $200. I went online and
did research it, and tey’re between $500 and $900 There’s one guy in the
world with a really big beard, with the only tape
for this thing, and even he doesn’t want.
– $250? $200 bucks, and I am taking a
big shot whether I’m ever going to sell this thing or not. So if you want $200 bucks,
I’ll give you $200 bucks. – All right. $200 bucks.
– All right. Sweet, man. Thank you very much. Yeah, just leave
it here for now, and I’ll meet you
right up front. All right.
Thank you. When I found out it
was a training tool, I got disappointed. Like, there goes the
price, because it’s not out in the field, and all that. But $200’s a fair price. That will give me some
spending money here in Vegas, and I can have
some fun with that.

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