Welcome to the National Cryptologic Museum Foundation. The NCMF directly supports the National Cryptologic Museum (NCM), the first public museum in the U.S. Intelligence Community.

  • ...The nation’s brightest young minds to consider careers in STEM and cyber related fields

  • ...Robust dialog with the American public on cyber policy, technology, and privacy

  • ...Those who “served in silence” with valor and distinction, especially those who gave their lives in service

Did you know?

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

1919: Patent issued to Gilbert Vernam for concept of machine encipherment.

Monday, July 22, 2019
1919: Patent issued to Gilbert Vernam for concept of machine encipherment.

22 July 1919: Patent issued to Gilbert Vernam for a "Secret Signaling System," which describes an automated teletype cipher.

In this automated system, a loop of perforated paper tape representing random letters was added to a plaintext message to create the ciphertext. On the receiving end, a duplicate loop would be used to subtract the same random letters from the ciphertext to re-create the plaintext message. The advantage was the encipherment and decipherment was handled automatically without human intervention or error. The use of a loop of tape meant the system was not truly a one-time pad since the key tape would be reused, so it was vulnerable to enemy decryption. (Excerpted from ciphermachines.com)

The US military SIGTOT teletype system was the first use of an automated one-time tape, used by the US military. It was introduced in 1925 and was the "Secret Signaling System" directly based on Vernam's 1919 patent. It remained in use by the US military until the 1959. In the photo is a Special Transmitter/Distributor for the US military SIGTOT teletype cipher. The one pictured here was used in President Roosevelt's airplane and is now at the NCM.

Gilbert Vernam was an inventor who held 65 patents in the field of communication. He made significant contributions to the science of cryptography, and to the present-day, world-wide telegraph communications systems.

Return To List

THIS MONTH on the

On This Day In History

Calendar

  • Maj. Albert J. Myer, founder of the "wig-wag," or aerial telegraphy, flag signaling system, was appointed first chief of the U.S. Army Signal Corps. Myer's flag "wig-wag" code was first used in the first Battle of Bull Run or Battle of First Manassas. The code was used extensively by both the Union and Confederate armies throughout the war.

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.