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.......

1960: Inventor Gilbert Vernam died.

Friday, February 7, 2020
1960: Inventor Gilbert Vernam died.

7 February 1960: Gilbert Vernam, pioneer inventor of machine encryption, died.

The Vernam Cipher is named after Gilbert Sandford Vernam who, in 1917, invented the polyalphabetic stream cipher and later co-invented the one-time pad cipher. His patent was filed in 1918 and is, according to the NSA, quite possibly one of the most important in cryptographic history. What we now call one-time pad encryption (OTP) was patented by Gilbert Vernam at AT&T in 1919 and enhanced by Captain Joseph Mauborgne of the Army’s Signal Corps. The earliest military application was reported by the German Kurzwellenpanorama magazine in World War I. Later it was employed by the BBC to send coded messages to Special Operations Executive agents abroad.

The largest application of OTP has been on number stations; these unlicensed, mysterious shortwave radio stations began broadcasting during the Cold War. The Vernam Cipher has also been applied to modern computing.

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On This Day In History


  • The first fully automatic computer, the "Harvard Mark I," formally began operations. In the photo: Grace Hopper working on the Mark-I at Harvard University during WWII. Photo from @GillianJacobs

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.