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Polish mathematicians & code breakers made the first breakthroughs against Nazi Germany's Enigma code.......

1927: Elizebeth Friedman - cryptanalyst with Bureau of Prohibition

Friday, May 10, 2019
1927: Elizebeth Friedman - cryptanalyst with Bureau of Prohibition

10 May 1927: Elizebeth S. Friedman was appointed as a cryptanalyst for the Bureau of Prohibition.

Excerpt below is from, "Cracking the Code," Published in March 2014 by "The Hillsdale Collegian." Read the full article via the link below to vmcooney.com.

During the interwar period and the Prohibition era, Elizebeth cracked rum runners’ codes and served as a government witness across the country, making her the most famous cryptographer in the United States.

The United States Coast Guard credits her with deciphering over 12,000 encoded radio missions and calls her “one of the most remarkable women to ever work for the U.S. Government.”

“Her testimony won these cases for the government,” said Barbara Osteika, a historian at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. “Once she talks through the codes, they’re like confessions.”

While reading through case files, Osteika often found comments from prosecutors that read something like, “If it was not for her testimony, this case would be lost,” she said.

Elizebeth was pivotal in the case against Consolidated Export Company (CONEXCO), “million dollar liquor ring” connected to Al Capone, as well as the famous “I’m Alone” case, in which the U.S. Coast Guard scuttled a ship sailing under a Canadian flag and launched an international incident. She was even loaned out to the Canadian government in the late 30s to help break a ring of opium smugglers.

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  • Birthday of cryptologic machine designer Edward Hebern. Hebern's five-rotor cipher machine is cryptologically significant as part of the overall evolution in U.S. manufactured rotor devices. The National Cryptologic Museum has two very rare five-rotor Hebern cipher machines in its collection.

About Us

The NCMF directly supports the National Cryptologic Museum (NCM), the first public museum in the U.S. Intelligence Community. We think you will agree it is truly a "museum like no other."

Located adjacent to the National Security Agency (NSA) in Maryland, the NCM houses a priceless collection of artifacts that represent our Nation's history in code making and code breaking, as well as a world class library of cryptologic media. The NCMF acquires the best artifacts for the NCM and supports new educational and interactive exhibits.

The NCMF provides exceptional cryptologic programs throughout the year, encourages young minds to explore cryptology and innovation through valued awards, and hosts educational, cryptology-related exhibits at various community events.

As part of the Foundation's partnership with NSA to build the Cyber Center for Education and Innovation - Home of the National Cryptologic Museum (CCEI-NCM), the NCMF also serves as a leader in the field of cybersecurity - striving to provide the best in educational resources and programs.

The NCMF and NCM share a joint three-fold mission to Educate, Stimulate, and Commemorate. Learn more about our MISSION.