In the process of revising our museum catalogue, we came across this well preserved example of a 1926 Royal Portable typewriter. Invented by Edwards Bernard Hess and Lewis Cary Myers in the United States in 1922, it only came into manufacture in 1926. Although it wasn’t the first of its kind, what ensured its success was its light-weight and smaller build than its competitors at that time. Its use became widespread in countries such as the United Kingdom. By the end of the Second World War, the Royal Portable became the market leader.
A short talk by Artur Bildziuk on the development on the cracking of the more advanced encryption used by the German military during the WWII and recognising those unsung heroes who played their part in this story.
The Jozef Pilsudski Institute of London offered an exclusive opportunity to see the Polish Enigma Double next to Enigma machine’s successors: Fialka and NEMA. Jerry McCarthy explained how the messages were encoded and that the Enigma code was considered by its users to be virtually unbreakable; he went on to explain that Polish mathematicians were able to break the code, and created several systems to do so, thereby starting the Enigma Relay.
During the annual Museum, Archives and Libraries Conference (MAB) held in Paris on 28th-30th August 2018, our Institute had the honour of being awarded the Polish Republic’s Diploma of Recognition, signed by the President Andrzej Duda, for outstanding achievement in the conservation and preservation of Polish Culture outside of Poland’s borders.
The special Awards was handed to Anna Stefanicka, Secretary General of Pilsudski Institute of London by Janusz Kuligowski, director of the Archives from President’s Cabinet and celebrates one hundred anniversary of Polish Independence and of fortieth anniversary of MAB conferences. It is in appreciation and thanks to our Institute and especially to its workers, volunteers, interns and other supporters for their dedication, energy and hard work.
On Saturday we had an honour of participating in an unveiling of a long awaited Henryk Zygalski’s memorial stone. The event took place at the Memorial Garden of the Chichester Crematorium in the presence of the cryptologist’s relatives Dr Jeremy Russell, Georgina Donaldson and Anna Zygalska-Cannon, Ambassador of Poland Arkady Rzegocki, Alan Turing's nephew Sir Dermot Turing, and Mayor of Chichester Martyn Bell. We are very grateful to Zygalski’s family for inviting us to witness this moving ceremony commemorating one of the Polish pioneer breakers of the Enigma code.
On Sunday the Institute held a private technical forum presented by Jerry McCarthy focusing on the Zygalski sheets which cracked the German Enigma code in 1938. Our honoured guests included the family of the famous Henryk Zygalski - Mrs Anna Zygalska-Cannon Jeremy Russell, and Georgina Donaldson. It was a perfect opportunity to present our long term supporters Jerry McCarthy and Dermot Turing with the silver badge of the Pilsudski Institute of London.
With a truly International and diverse audience attended by Councillor Daryl Brown, Mayoress of Hammersmith and Fulham with her consort Benito Brown, and Mr Jerzy Uklanski the Polish Consul, Tadashi Imai’s piano recital of Polish composers was outstanding. His background description on each piece captured the history and mood of the time and of the composers lives adding a dimension of empathy to the passionate music created during Poland’s partitioning and strong desire for independence.
Congratulations to the Polish Heritage Society UK on the successful and well attended 6th Conference hosted by the Polish Embassy in London. The presentations about Poland restoring her independence in November 1918 after 123 years of partitioning, together with the mood in the international arena at the time were very interesting. Our Institute was proud to participate with Anna Stefanicka giving an outstanding portrayal about the important contribution of women in Pilsudski's little known about "secret army".
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