Dr. E. Gretener AG / Gretag AG

Gretag Logo Dr. Edgar Gretener AG, Zurich Altstetten, Gretag AG, Regensdorf

The Zuricht based company Dr. E. Gretener AG developed for the Swiss Army not only the paper tape teleprinter ETK based on a unique 14 element code, but also cipher equipment.

Company history

The Dr. Edgar Gretener AG was founded in Zurich - Altstetten in 1943. Initially, together with Ciba, the company developed the large - screen projection system Eidophor.

After the death of Dr. Gretener in 1958, the company was renamed Gretag AG; after 1960, the company location was moved from Kleinstrasse in Zurich to new properties in Regensdorf ZH, where it remained for many years. The Gretag AG not only developed cipher machines and crypto devices but also a color separation system for the printing industry.

One of the first developments was the „single tone combination teleprinter“ ETK, a paper tape teleprinter which was commonly used in the Swiss Army, it used a 14 - segment character code with was better error - redundant then the standard Baudot code.

In 1948, after he moved from Sweden to Switzerland, Boris Hagelin worked together with Edgar Gretener for a short time and developed cipher equipment before he founded his own business, the Crypto AG in Zug, in 1952.

Matching with the ETK teleprinter, Gretag developed the cipher machine Telecrypto 53. It's transmission quality was acceptable over wired telephone lines, but it was often too weak, when radio transmission was used, due to synchronization problems. The development of the crypto-telecine KFF58 improved the situation greatly. The combo KFF58/single sideband transceiver SE-222 provided an excellent service of automated encrypted wireless message transmission for many years.

The use of the specific 14 segment code never was successful outside of Switzerland, so Gretag developed the cipher machine Telecrypto 61 which could be used to transfer normal Baudot code CCITT no.2 messages. Later, the company developed a series of electronic cipher equipment known as Gretacoder.

In the early nineties, the cryptology division was split off to act as an independant company Gretag Data Systems AG. In 1995 the company was renamed Gretacoder Data Systems AG.

Then an American investor took over the company, which was renamed Safe Net Data Systems AG - despite massive financial investments, the company did not survive and was liquidated in late 2004.

After the liquidation, most patents of Gretacoder AG went in the possession of Omnisec, which was also located in Regensdorf.

More information

en/gretag.txt · Zuletzt geändert: 2019/11/27 11:02 von mb