M-209 for sale on EBay

Arnold G. Reinhold reinhold at world.std.com
Tue Oct 29 08:25:22 EST 2002

I'd have to agree with Jim.  I have some WW II military radios in my 
basement and they look pretty pristine on the inside.  Military 
equipment is built for long shelf life.  Even stuff that's seen a lot 
of service often cleans up nicely. Also the (unmet) minimum bid for 
the M-209 on Ebay was $3000. It's hard to see how someone could make 
a small quantity of something that mechanically complex and make much 
money selling them for $3000 each.

Arnold Reinhold

At 5:34 PM -1000 10/28/02, Jim Gillogly wrote:
>Jay D. Dyson wrote:
>>On Sun, 27 Oct 2002, Jeffrey I. Schiller wrote:
>>>>There's an M-209 for sale on EBay:
>>>Auction closes in about 4 hours and no one has bid...
>>	Small wonder.  The unit in question appears to have a distinct
>>lack of wear and no sign of degradation from regular use.  Having worked
>>with U.S. military hardware (mid 1980s) that was from the Korean conflict
>>era, I can attest that *nothing* ever came our way that was that 
>>pristine. This in itself leads me to believe the item up for bid is 
>>a replica.
>I'm not convinced by this argument -- but then I have a vested
>interest in not being convinced.  I have an apparently nearly identical
>M-209-B, also unused before I got it.  Since then I've encrypted a
>couple of thousand characters on it; it works perfectly, and matches
>the behavior of a real M-209.  The story was that it was part
>of a cache of surplus M-209's that were produced but never needed in
>WW2, and they "turned up" decades later.  I bought mine perhaps 10
>years ago.  The accessories were also in perfect condition: an extra
>roll of tape, the ink and pad tubes, and the khaki carrying case.
>The manual seemed to me convincing: the realistic WW2-style paper
>was yellowed but unused, and the staples had rusted, suggesting
>that it had been bound a good long time before I bought it.
>I think mine is real, and by extension I have no reason to doubt
>that the one on eBay is also real.  Have you ever heard of anyone
>making M-209 replicas?  If you were going to that much trouble,
>why not do it with Enigmas instead?  They're much better known,
>more secure (for what it's worth at that security level), and have
>a much higher potential street value.
>	Jim Gillogly
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