Secret Decoder Cypher Wheel
- 6 ¼ X 2 ½ inches
Thomas Jefferson devised an ingenious and secure device for encoding and decoding secret messages in the 1790s while he served as President George Washington’s Secretary of State. He called it a wheel cypher but it was also known as the Jefferson disk, or Bazeries Cylinder.
Our Civil War themed wheel cypher consists of 12 wooden disks (compared to Jefferson's 36 disks) that rotate around a spindle, with the letters of the alphabet engraved in random order on the disks. Rotating the disks in a prescribed order as directed by a code brings the secret message into view!
A fun way to learn about deciphering codes and secret messages, this wooden device helps us relate to an important time in our nation's history when sending and receiving important and strategic information was more challenging than it is today.
Regarded as one of this country's foremost political leaders and diplomats, Thomas Jefferson served his country for nearly five decades. As a member of the House of Burgesses and Continental Congress, governor of Virginia, ambassador to France, and third President of the United States, Jefferson was a powerful advocate of liberty and religious freedom.