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I know One-time-pad were used during ww2 and, I want to know how the random numbers were generated.

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    $\begingroup$ See How were one-time pads and keys historically generated? on Cryptography SE, Random number table: history and SIGSALY. Most of them were not random in the mathematical sense, and used erratic typists, telephone directories, logarithmic tables or compendiums of unrelated words. Kendall's and Babington-Smith's light flashing machine, and SIGSALY's random noise were probably most satisfactory. $\endgroup$
    – Conifold
    Jul 17, 2021 at 3:52
  • $\begingroup$ Have you got examples how they were used? $\endgroup$ Jul 17, 2021 at 9:19
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    $\begingroup$ @Conifold What is random in the mathematical sense? An ideal form of randomness? Platonic randomness? $\endgroup$ Jul 17, 2021 at 9:20
  • $\begingroup$ @DescheleSchilder Algorithmically random sequence. $\endgroup$
    – Conifold
    Jul 17, 2021 at 9:49
  • $\begingroup$ @Conifold Isnt an algorithm at odds with pure probability? $\endgroup$ Jul 17, 2021 at 11:07

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US Patent 2406031, filed on 21 May 1942, issued on 20 Aug 1946, describes one such technology: A hopper feeds a jumble of transparent and opaque beads past a photocell array. The beads are fed back into the hopper, and the data read from the photocells ends up on a punched tape.

I don't know if this particular invention was used in practice, but it seems likely to me that something along these lines was used to produce the one-time keying material (the bulk of which was for use with teleprinters) for US forces in the war.

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