HistoryWired About the Program Help Comments Smithsonian Institution
Back to Map

Enlarge
Related Images

Cipher instruction for pilots at Maxwell Field, Alabama
 

Electric Super Code Machine
1920s

Sending messages in cipher
Californian Edward Hebern designed this cipher machine for the commercial market in the 1920s. Since ancient times, people have used words, letters, and numbers--rearranged in special systems known as codes and ciphers--to send secret messages. In the years leading up to World War II, U.S. military services and private companies alike developed secret codes and cipher machines to provide secure communications. During World War II, both sides strove to protect their own communities and to crack the system used by their enemies. Many of the innovations made at the time contributed to the rise of digital computers.

Notes
Web display only

Learn more!
· Codes and Ciphers
· "Information Age: People, Information and Technology," an NMAH Exhibition

What do you think?
Would you like to see more objects like this on the site? Tell others by casting your vote.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Fewer More


Start HistoryWired | About the Program | Help | Comments

Smithsonian Institution | Terms of Use | Privacy