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Publication numberUS1584749 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 18, 1926
Filing dateNov 12, 1924
Priority dateNov 12, 1924
Publication numberUS 1584749 A, US 1584749A, US-A-1584749, US1584749 A, US1584749A
InventorsPerry Donald B, Vernam Gilbert S
Original AssigneeAmerican Telephone & Telegraph
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Ciphering device
US 1584749 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

May 18 1926.

G. S. VERNAM El AL CIPHERING DEVICE 3 Sheets-sheaf 1 Filed Nov. 12


r 1,584,749 G. S. VERNAM ET AL CI PHERING DEVICE 3 sheets-shet 2 Filed Nov. 12 1924 May 18, 1926. 1,584,749



Application filed November 12, 1924. Serial No. 749,509.

This invention relates to arrangements for secretly transmitting messages. More particularly the arrangements relate to a mechanical device for enciphering and deciphering characters or pictures so that persons who might have unauthorized access to the message during transmission could not understand its true import.

The device of this invention consists of a modified form of pantograph. At one end of the device is a writing arrangement whereby the character or picture of the message may be drawn. The motion thus imparted to the device will operate a tracing arrangement at the other end thereof. The original motion, however, will he so distorted by the device that the tracing arrangement will give a picture or characterization totally chflerent from the original letters or characters. In other words, the original writing motion willcause the device to produce a distorted or enoiphered copy which will be unintelligible. The enciphered copy may then be transmitted in its unintelligible form to a distant spot.

another similar one of the devices of the inbe caused to move over, or to trace, the picture or characters of the enciphered message. This motion will then cause the writing arrangements at the other end of the device to reproduce the original picture or characters. Other details and features of the invention will appear more fully from the detailed description hereinafter given.

The invention may be more fully understood from the following description, together with the accompanying drawing in the Figures 1 to 8, inclusive, of which the invention is illustrated. In Fig. 1 is shown a side elevation of the device with portions of the apparatus cut away to show sectional views thereof". Fig. 2 is a sectional view. of part of the tracing-end of the device, while in Fig. 3 is shown a side view of the writing end. Fig. Asillustrates the device as it would appear when in use, mounted on a table or drawing board. Fig. 5 give-sa perspective view of thetracing end of: the mechanism. Fig. 6 shows an original message, suchas a word, as written by device. ,Fig. hows-theresulting. enciphered message prQd lce hedQY Q Here it will beplaced under the tracing arrangements of.

the writing end of the rotating in its axis Fig. 8 shows the original message as actuallydeciphered by the arrangements of the invention from the enciphered message shown in Fig. 7. Similar reference charac.- ters have been utilized to denote like parts in all of the figures. Y

As illustrated in Fig. 1, the device of the invention is. mounted on a baseboard or table 1, and is supported by center hearing The outside shell 2 of this hearing passes through a hole inthe table and. is held in place by the hexagonal nuts 3 and *1 and the washers 5 and 6 which provide a means for vertical adjustment. The center pivot shaft 7 turns in the ball-bearings 8 and 8,which are supported by the outside shell A collar or tube 9, around the shaft 7, between bearing races. The felt washer 100 operates to introduce aslight amount of friction so that the ease of rotation oi the center pivot shaft 7 may be adjusted. Such an adjustment may be made by tightening the nut- 11. The lower end of the shaft 7 is threaded and a nut'11 is screwed against the projecting shouldor10 to hold the assembly together, The upper end of the shaft 7 has a fiat head 12 to which the support for the restof the device is attached. This support consists or" a fiat piece 13 attached in the center to the fiat head of shait'r', as shown. The at piece 13 has short vertical pieces 14: andl i! attached to each end. These vertical pieces form slide bearings fora tube 15. The travel of this tube is limited by adjustable stop rings 16 and 17.' A set screw keeps each of these rings in position. Besides supporting the tube, the vertical end piece 14 at the left, support-sa rack 18 which pro-. jects to the left. Mounted on the top of the tube is a guide piece 19. A circular bearing 20 presses against one side of this i guide piece, This circular hearing will rotate about the support 22, atfixed to the fiat piece 13. Ball-bearings 21 are providedior this circular hearing, A similar support and circular bearing is provided, which will press against the other side ofthe guide piece 19. These two circular bearings and the guide piece 19 prevent the tube. 15 from hile atthe same time,

while a projecting nism shown in Figs: 1, 2, and

ge ar by an idle pulley.

ell'backlash in the qea'rin u t4 C v"i-Hie 'en ciphe g g process jis as: v b-l'anik f'she'et "of pa er 1s pla ed tlllcllft allowing till? t 2 vertical pencils, or pens, both ends or" the device. pieces lei n1 rout "riot-ion. th sheet at the left beingcarei'ully placed To the i he ube a pen-oi, the inn pencil 2 trated in l and r plug ii-ts snug- .ly into theend of the tube 15 and is he'd by screws as shown. This p ug has a square head 24 with a vertical 'hol A post 25 is'inserted in this hole and locked in place by the set screw it horizontal piece 2? is aliixed to the post and carries theink pencil 28. The'pcncil is threaded so that it ma be lowered or raised from the horizontal piece 27'.

Two cipher pencils, one with .red lead and the other with black lead, or pens'with ditierent colored inks, are mounted at the leftcnd ol the tubelo' by means of the mechashown in the drawing 29 an 30. In F g. 1 of the mechanism;

as the dunnny pens is shown a SltiQVlBW Fig. 2 a sectional View; and in Fig. 5e 'PQISPGCUE'G'View. This mechenisnr consists of a pencil support inounte'd'on '9. vertical shaft 34 which'isiree to rotate. IThe pencilsupport consists of two arms 32 and 33, which are apart, and which extend out from a threaded ver-' tical collar 31, which is screwed on the shaft 34. A lock nut 85 holds this collar in place on the shaft. At-the outer end of each of the support arms is a collar, such as 36, with a'scre'w 87 by which the pencils or pcnsy such as 29 and 30, m

be held. The support arms 32 and 33 are hinged to the support so that they may he raised when placing the apparatus in position. The vertical shaft carries a ear 3Sand is sun aorted b V c r a L bv two hall-beach s 39 and :40. lhese bearhousing 41,

held in place by a screw. The gear 38, which is held in place 'on'the shaft 34. by the set screw e3, meshes with the rack 18 heretofore referred to. The rack is pressed against the sists ofa hall-bearing with a'fianged rim 45 an auxiliary shaft l-6. Two pins, 4'? and d8, projecting "from the upper and lower 7 caring housinggpass through holesin each end of this shaft. The pulley is pressed against the rack bythe springs s9 and 50.

' pulley is to hold the The purpose of the rack against the gear and thereby tahe up A lieacbplccc' 511's affixed to theto') of shaft 3gl whereby l v assembly 44 equipped it may conveniently'he rotated or moved.

A clear idea, oiF-"the complete assembly may be Shed from reference 'to F g. 4. In this yhgurre, a. complete wo1'd,1suc h as the word telegraph Just been 'enc pheregl'.

15 is festened e drilled in it;

. These transmitted in any desired "red and black corresponding t the red andbleck "pencils,

, he that the This pulley con- 4 and is supported by her,

1. "means oter guide marks on the table, so that it can he replr V ced in the-semeposition on any s-nnilar. mach no. As the Pif1ll t is moved under control oi the op! record the original message, the cipher pen :the tracing pencil at theright. The combi- Ietion this circular motion, together'with thei'notion due to the pencil at the right, will result in the two cipher pencils atrthe left producingan absolutely unintelligil'ile set of lines or curves. For example, the word telegraph? shown as originally traced by the pencil in Fig. 6 will result in the un intelligible arrangement shown in Fig. 7. Thecipher shown in Fig. 7 may then be manner to a distant point without fear of'its import or meaning becoming lniown.

Preparatory to deciphering on'the same or any similar machine, the two cipher pencils ere replaced by dummy tracing points 29 and 30. The cipher record, such as shown in Fig. 7 is accurately located inthe proper position on the left-hand side of'the board and a blank sheet The operator now follows the lines with the tracing points respectively. This may be done by moving the head piece 51 as desired. The result will pencil at the right-hand end will reproduce the original message, as shown in Fig, In Fig. 7,'the red line in the cipher message is distinguishable from the black by the difference in sending. It is desirable to have two cipher. 'encils with different colors to aid in" avoiding error in decipherng.- v V j Whilethe invention has been disclosed embodied in certain specific errangements,

which are deemed desirable, it is understood that it is capable of embodiment in many other and widely varied forms, without departinq from the spirit. of the'inventiou as defined by the ppendcd claims.

lVhat'is claimed is: 1 1. A ciphering device comprising a supporting member, h i q m mber .l il dins iemb Wr ting w llness 'i id e ashetlte liflfilld f-saiclhcrizqntal inein:

r tingm chanism as o at d i i "n "0" origontal member,

cqlitrolglecl by the "slit ble mot said member to impart a rotary motion to said last mentioned Writing mechanism.

2. A ciphering device comprising a sup porting member, a horizontal member slidably and rotatably attached to said supporting member, writing mechanism rigidly attached to one end of said horizontal member, a gear associated with the other end of said horizontal member, Writing mechanism controlled by said gear, and a rack attached to said supporting member said rack being adapted to operate said gear to impart a rotary motion to said last mentioned Writing mechanism upon the slidable motion of said horizontal member.

3. A ciphering. device comprising a vertical support member, a horizontal support member rotatably attached to said vertical support member by ball-bearings, a tubular member slidably attached to said horizontal support member by ball-bearings, Writing mechanism rigidly attached to one end of said tubular member, a housing attached to the other end of said tubular member, a Vertical shaft rotatably held in said housing by ball-bearings, Writing mechanism rigidly attached to said shaft, a gear rigidly attached to said shaft, a rack attached to said horizontal support member, and an idler pulley at tached to said housing whereby said rack Will mesh with said gear to impart a rotary motion to said shaft and writing mechanism upon the slidable motion of said tubular member.

t In testimony whereof, We have signed our names to this specification this 7th day of November 1924.


U.S. Classification380/59
International ClassificationG09C5/00
Cooperative ClassificationG09C5/00
European ClassificationG09C5/00