I am gradually dismantling this page, which is much too long and unwieldy, as I distribute discussions of individual and grouped codes on separate pages. The main directory of codes for which scans are available — at least to my knowledge — is here, and searches should begin with that listing.

Thus, for example, the seven editions of the ABC Telegraphic Code have their own page; ditto cotton codes, mining codes, and the codes of individual compilers like Frederic George McCutcheon and Edmund Peycke.

Coverage is uneven: some codes are treated in detail, for others, only basic bibliographic information is provided. Mea culpa.

Comments, corrections and suggested additions are welcome.
John McVey

telegraphic codes


  1. 1845   The Secret Corresponding Vocabulary
    adapted for use to Morse’s Electro-Magnetic Telegraph and also in conducting written correspondence, transmitted by the mails, or otherwise
    Francis O. J. Smith
    Portland: Thurston, Ilsley & Co., 1845
    original at Harvard University: Int 4210.81.5

  2. 1845   The Telegraph Dictionary and Seamen’s Signal Book
    adapted to signals by flags or other semaphores; and arranged for secret correspondence through Morse’s Electro-Magnetic Telegraph: for the use of commanders of vessels, merchants, &c.
    Henry J. Rogers
    Baltimore: Published by F. Lucas, Jr. 170 Market Street. 1845
    original at Harvard University: Nav 573.45.3

    [i-v], vi-xii, [4]; proper pagination runs pp11-334, followed by index (that does not accurately describe front-matter content).

    Dedication, 3; Testimonial from Professor Morse, 4; Introduction and Instructions, 5; Compass Signals, 9; Time Signals, 10; Fractions, 13; Word and Sentences, 14; Auxiliary Verbs, viz: I am, He is, We are, &c. &c., 250; Blanks for Merchants, &. &., 258; Ports and Places—In local order, 261; List of States and their Principal Towns, 269; List of Nations, 279; General Gazetteer of Ports and Places Alphabetically Arranged, 280; List of Vessels in the U.S. Navy, 295; List of Revenue Marine, 297; Principal Canals in the U.S., 299; Principal Rail Roads in the U.S., 301; Articles of Merchandise, 303; Seamen’s Wages, 322; Exchange, 323; List of Country Banks in the U.S., 324.

    The instructions discuss usage of Rogers and Black’s American Semaphore. The whole numbers 13,395 signals (AB 11 > SUS 13,405). The figure code works with the American Semaphore System (and works with a key for making messages secret — a number to be added to or subtracted from the figure conveyed); the letter code (e.g., AB, SUS) works with a flag system. Two flags suffice between AB (11) and ZZ (698), but with the exception of compass signals, time signals, and fractions, the two-flag signals are reserved for no special categories of message (e.g., you are standing into danger as we might find in nautical codes.


    pages 27-28 (cropped), at shift from two to three flags, ex The Telegraph Dictionary and Seamen’s Signal Book (1845)

    The phrase vocabulary looks forward to the range we might find in the ABC Telegraphic Codes of three decades later.

  3. 1852   The Brachial Telegraph.
    An original method of conversing and signalizing on land and at sea, by means of human arms, at any and all distances, even within furthest range of the telescope.
    Robert W. Jenks
    New York: Henry Sanders, 1852
    Cornell University, VK389 J53 (directly here)

    Introduction pp 3-7; Signal Alphabet pp 8-11; Written Alphabet of the Brachial Telegraph, Capitals and Small Letters pp 12-14; Written Numerals p 13; Signal Numbers 16-19; Sea Signals 20-26 (similar to two-flag signals of other nautical codes, for quick messaging); Resources in Case of Shipwreck 27-30 (on building a raft, getting a line to shore, etc.); Military Signals 31-37 (phrases); Miscellaneous Signals 38-56; Recommendations 57 (testimonials of Harvey P Peet, President of the New-York Institute for the Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb), and D. C. Van Norman (Principal of Rutgers Female Institute)).

    The sea signals are made with an object (e.g., a trumpet) in the signaller’s hand; military signals are made with a sword.

    The introduction discusses the ancients, Chappe, the electro-magnetic telegraph and naval signals, then asserts that subsidiary assistance might be derived from the Brachial Telegraph, for which he gives examples. He adds: In schools and private families, independently of the utility claimed for it as a branch of study, it would be a source of amusement to young persons, as well as a healthy exercise of the limbs, tending to a robust development and a graceful carriage of person. (p7)

    The written alphabet follows the (arm) signal alphabet closely —

    The chapter Miscellaneous Phrases is the longest in the book, with 88 signal/phrase pairs in all. The examples below are taken from pages 39, 40 and 57.

    Each of the 88 signals for Miscellaneous Phrases might be assigned additional meanings, provided they are distinguished in some way from their ordinary sense. The inflection might be done by hold(ing) something in the hand, as a book, or hat, or stick.

    The brachial telegraph signals recall the signals of the Chappe system, but their respective forms are less emphatically pronounced than the latter. (Perhaps signallers would need to have unusually long arms?) I have not worked out the maximum number of signs available using the arms — is it 88? — but observe that many of the gestures, particularly where an arm crosses the front of the signaller’s body, would be indistinguishable at a distance.

    The brachial telegraph is also proposed as potentially useful, in emergencies, to Deaf Mutes: see a communication by John R. Burnet, in The Proceedings of the Third Convention of American Instructors of the Deaf and Dumb (Columbus, Ohio, August 10-12, 1853) (pp196-97), here

    The introduction to the Miscellaneous Signals concludes with this —

    These miscellaneous signals, with the new meanings that may be attached to them, woud make an agreeable pastime for social parties, as the new meanings might be extended without limit, the only prerequisite being a previous agreement as to the new interpretation..

    Innocent and exciting amusement in the social circle is also suggested as a secondary purpose for Baldwin’s Traveler’s vade mecum (1853) — listed immediately below (and more fully described here). (A. C. Baldwin was present at the second Convention of American Instructors of the Deaf and Dumb, held in Hartford, Connecticut in August 1851.)

  4. 1853   The traveler’s vade mecum,
    or Instantaneous Letter Writer, by mail or telegraph, for the convenience of persons traveling on business or for pleasure, and for others, whereby a vast amount of time, labor, and trouble is saved.
    by A. C. Baldwin
    New York: A.S. Barnes & Co., 1853
    original at NYPL

    12 preliminary pages; 13-299 code; p300 table of contents.
    8466 numbered phrases, distributed in the following departments: traveling, home, clergymen, and commercial (running pp 13-32); and miscellaneous, (pages 33-299).

    A fuller discussion of this code, and its author Abraham Chittenden Baldwin (1804-1887), can be found here.

  5. 1866   Diccionario telegrafico
    Mexico, Imprenta Imperial, 1866
    original at NYPL

    Figures, times, alphabet (1ff); vocabulary (13ff); names of places (135ff); authorities (175ff). No phrases

    This code provides the Spanish-language terms, but no codewords or figure constructs for those. For my own convenience, I provide the preface and a rough Englishing of same, below.


    El Diccionario telegráfico contiene las palabras mas usadas para la correspondencia secreta ; las que faltan, sean nombres de poca importancia ó nombres propios, pueden ser escritas con letras, ó se compondrán por medio del alfabeto (página 5 – 11).
    Los verbos auxiliares haber, ser y estar, y los verbos tener, poder, ir, querer y deber, están puestos en los tiempos que indican el presente, pasado y venidero. De los otros verbos solo se halla el infinitivo, que basta para expresar en combinacion con verbos auxiliares ó los arriba mencionados, para comunicar las ideas de una manera inteligible. Se comprenderá fácilmente por el sentido de la frase, si el infinitivo aislado de un verbo indica el presente ó el venidero, ó un participio usado como adjetivo; compuesto con los auxiliares el pasado ú otro tiempo, estará perfectamente precisado. El gerundio siempre puede ser sustituido reduciendo las frases á las expresiones mas sencillas, y por medio de la combinacion de estar con el infinitivo del verbo respectivo.
    Se ha agregado al fin del Diccionario un vocabulario, que contiene los Soberanos, dignatarios y personajes importantes, y otro vocabulario geográfico del Imperio y del Extrangero.
    Para no aumentar el número de las cifras á mas de millares, se ha dado á aquellas palabras una série de cifras ya contenida en el Diccionario. Se distinguirá una série de otra, subrayando la del apéndice.

    Ha llegado S. M. el Emperador á Puebla.
    Un tal Goldsmith, individuo sospechoso de ser agente de Santa-Anna etc. etc.
    S. M. concede el indulto pedido, avise V. al Prefecto Político.
    Se hallan tambien en el Diccionario las sílabas necesarias para composiciones.

    Which, drawn through the Google translation machine, and subjected to amateur tuning, yields something like :

    The Telegraph Dictionary contains the words most used for secret correspondence; what is missing — terms of little importance or proper names — can be written in letters, or spelled out (page 5-11).

    The auxiliary verbs be, was and will be, and the verbs have, may, go, intend and duty, indicate present, past and future. Of other verbs, the infinitive alone is sufficient in combination with auxiliary verbs or those mentioned above, to communicate ideas in an intelligible manner. Be easily understood by the meaning of the sentence, if the isolation of a verb infinitive indicates the present or the future, or a participle used as adjective, compound with auxiliaries or other last time, will be fully clarified. The gerund can always be replaced to reduce the sentences to the simplest expressions, and with combination of being with the infinitive of the verb concerned.

    There is added at the end of Dictionary a vocabulary for the Sovereign, officials and important persons, and a geographical vocabulary for locations within and outside the Empire.

    In order not to increase the number of the figures to more than thousands, have been given to those words and a series of figures contained in the Dictionary. Distinguish a series of other, stressing the appendix.

    S. has come M. Emperor to Puebla.
    One such Goldsmith, individual suspected of being an agent of Santa-Anna, &., &.
    S. M. granted a pardon request, contact V. the Political Prefect.
    They are also in the Dictionary of syllables needed to compositions.

  6. 1868   Bolton’s Patent Code
    for transmitting messages by the electric or magnetic telegraph. Francis John Bolton, Chatham, Captain in Her Majesty’s 12th Regiment of Foot. Inventor and Proprietor.
    London: Printed by Harrison and Sons, St. Martin’s Lane
    Bodleian copy, 25789 c.60

    This volume appears to be incomplete. It contains 44 printed pages (including title page), its final phrase being Leeward (01450). A quick survey: title page; Symbols for Code; Special Sentences 0 / Accept freight through 99 /Sunday; followed by a longer phrase vocabulary, 000 / Call signal/ to be sent at beginning of message, through 99 / blank; A spelling vocabulary 100 / A through 859 / Zz;


    detail, from Google scans of pages containing 700-800, and 900, Bolton’s Patent Code (1868)

    a continuation of the spelling vocabulary, this with larger components 860 / Able through 998 / Yours, 999 / blank; and a four- (transitioning to five-) figure phrase vocabulary 0000 / Abundant through 01499 / blank.


    detail, from Google scan of page 007, Bolton’s Patent Code (1868)

    In Bolton’s system, sentence parts are presented in essentially the same way as are spelling components — pieces for the assembly of verbatim-like messages. As projected here — covering both commercial and social topics — his dictionary would be enormous. It contains, for example, 257 phrases with the word home, e.g., 01057 / Home late of a night, 01058 / Home late of an evening, 01063 / Home to-night, 01064 / Is from home, etc. No practical code would be compiled with so encyclopaedic a compass, and so poetic some of its selections.

    Yet Bolton was serious about the undertaking; he was involved in the laying of the Atlantic Cable in 1866, and his 1871 code (described below) contains several testimonials, including one from William Thomson, Cyrus W. Field and C. F. Varley.

    This is an early cable code, compiled by someone with a background in military signal codes, hence a division into sections, rather than a single phrase vocabulary. Bolton — aided by some of the best minds of England and a large staff of clerks * — boldly sought to handle both aspects of telegraphic communication: (1) code; and (2) and arrangement of phrases. That’s a tremendous ambition. This code fails to address the realities of signaling via submarine cable, above all to the induction effects on the signals themselves, and the consequent importance of packing sufficient redundancy into the code words. His phrase vocabulary is wanting, too: it comes across as a demonstration, rather than a carefully weighed offering of likely phrases. It was around the time of the publication of his second (1871) code that his attentions turned to the Society of Telegraph Engineers and Electricians (that he was instrumental in founding, and to his new duties as water examiner in London. Numerous codes would appear in these early years, all of them indebted (at least in spirit) to his own efforts.

    * The New Telegraphic Code, Chicago Tribune (December 28, 1870)

    An abstract of this code can be found in US Patent No. 58,562 Improvement in Signal-Codes for Electric Telegraphs (October 2, 1866), which appears (on basis of the Patent Office abridgement) to be equivalent to GB Patent No. 1646 Improvements in the mode of transmitting messages by the electric or magnetic telegraph (June 19, 1866).

    Bolton’s (incomplete?) Patent Code might have been kind of stake for a later patent — or copyright — claim. In any event, it was followed in 1871 by a second code, larger but arranged on the lines laid down here, entitled Bolton’s Telegraph Code. Here, Bolton is Major Frank Bolton. I examined the BL copy; no scan is available, to my knowledge. A short description follows.

    1871   Bolton’s Telegraph Code
    A Telegraphic Dictionary of the English Language, Forming a complete Code for the transmission of Telegraphic and Postal Card Messages on every subject; adapted to every branch of business, and suited for use in any language, by the employment of which Economy, Accuracy, and Secrecy are secured.
    London: Longmans, Green, Reader & Dyer
    British Library, shelfmark 1804.a.21

    Bolton’s Telegraph Code code is divided into four parts.

    1. The Special Code provides for 510 Words and Sentences of a special nature, principally intended for Commercial Telegrams.
    2. The Spelling Code, provides for 8,000 Signals expressed by Figures, and forms a Spelling Code, by which any word in any language, written in Roman characters, can be spelt and transmitted.
    3. The Private Code, provides for 8,000 Sentences in blank, for the Owners of the Code Books to fill up with any particular forms of Messages best suited to the special requirements of their business.
    4. The General Code, provides for 100,000 Signals, and expresses nearly every word in the English language, alphabetically arranged, and numerous Sentences of frequently-ocurring combination (mostly selected from Telegraphic Messages), and also the names of most of the principal paces in the world.

    These four parts are vestigial of signal codes, with their two-, three- and four-flag vocabularies. Bolton overlays on these four vocabularies, three different methods of expressing each: (1) code words; (2) code letters (1L through 4L); and (3) a figure code (pointing to page and line on page, 00-99). He takes this course to ensure that his code will satisfy different/evolving requirements by the telegraph administrations. He had initially intended to make the whole a figure code — indeed, this is precisely what his 1868 Patent Code is. But his 1871 code supplements a figure code with letter and word codes, in consequence of the decision by the British Post Office authorities to require that figures be written and charged as words. The three methods are described in the Instructions thus:

    1. Word Code, by which common words, and pre-arranged sentences, are expressed by one type word, which type words have been selected from the best English Dictionaries, Directories and Gazetteers.
    2. Letter Code, by which the same words and sentences are expressed by groups of letters, which never exceed 4 in number, and which have been selected in such a manner as in no case to form a word.
    3. Number Code, which equally expresses the above-mentioned words and sentences, by the application of the ten numerals, on a system of page and line, forming the Code Signal.

    To repeat, Bolton is convinced of the superiority of a code system of figures, as it is the best adapted for fulfilling the general requirements of codification, being at once the simplest, the most expeditious, the most accurate, the most free from incidental errors of context and association, and possing the incalculable advantage of applicability to every language containing numerals, even Chinese, he notes in his Preface to the 1871 code. But the realities of administrative needs, including the need to protect messages against mutilation in cable transmission, would complicate things. The great solution, of course, would be condensers able to convert 10-, 12- and even 13- figures into pronounceable five and ten-letter codewords.


    detail, from photocopy of BL copy, Bolton’s Telegraph Code (1871)

    The above shows the first 49 of 510 special terms, this first group including indicator terms, e.g., to indicate that following codewords are to be read as figures or decimals, etc.


    detail, p81, from photocopy of BL copy, Bolton’s Telegraph Code (1871)

    Shown above, a page selected at random from Part 4 the General code vocabulary.

    Bolton’s Telegraph Code also includes a section Instructions for the use of cypher (pages xx-xxiii). Here, he provides the common device of counting a certain number of places forward or backward for any entry, when coding or decoding. Following discussion of a number of variations in this area, he suggests the use of a Cryptograph, or Cypher Wheel, involving the use of a keyword.

    Francis John Bolton (1830-1887)

    Bolton is described in the DNB as an army officer and electrical engineer. His army service included artillery and development of system of visual (with P.H. Colomb) and night signalling. He was an instructor in visual signaling at the School of Military Engineering, Chatham. He was a co-founder of the Society of Telegraph Engineers and Electricians and, as its secretary, edited that society’s journal. In 1871, Bolton was appointed Water Examiner to the city of London; he earned some fame for conceiving, designing (and even operating) colored fountains and electric illuminations at South Kensington associated with the International Health Exhibition of 1884. In addition to his Patent and Telegraph codes, Bolton authored London Water Supply (London, 1884, here). ¶ Obituaries can be found in The Telegraphic Journal and Electrical Review (January 14, 1887) here, and in the Minutes of the Proeedings (full details to come) here. Bolton also is included in the Dictionary of National Biography (Supplement, 1901, here).

    I regret photocopying the entirety of the preface and instructions in the 1871 code, but only a few pages of the code itself. Will correct when able.

  7. 1871   Dianxin xinfa 電信新法
    S. A. Viguier, revised by De Mingzai 德明在 on the basis of Viguier’s 1871 code.
    Published in Tongzhi xinwei (1871).
    original at Det Kongelige Bibliotek, Oriental and Judaica Collections (Copenhagen)

    Opens at page 97, near end of book, showing codes for alphabetical letters A through Z (7961 through 7986), and figures 1 through 0 (7991 through 8000).

    See pages 98 and 99 for The Great Northern Telegraph / China and Japan Extension Company. Page 99 provides information in four-figure codes, and page 98 provides (same? but quick/cursory check suggests not) information in Chinese characters. See also pages 8 and 9 for English-language preface by C. M. Têh, written in Paris, November, 1871.

    Something on Chinese telegraph code at wikipedia; see also Jim Reeds on this topic here.

  8. 1872   Dianbao xinshu 電報新書
    New numbercode for the telegraph in Chinese made by S. A. Viguier in 1871 based on the first invented code made by the Dane H.C.F.C Schjellerup from 1871. No internal reference (in English, anyway) to the Great Northern Telegraph Company.
    Published in Shanghai in Tongzhi shiyi (1872).
    original at Det Kongelige Bibliotek, Oriental and Judaica Collections (Copenhagen)

    Opens to front (Chinese) cover.

    Like the preceding (1871) publication, characters arranged by radicals; differs from that edition by presenting figures in Chinese characters; and (apparently, need to confirm) provides a means for secret ciphering.

  9. 1874   Bloomer’s Commercial Cryptograph, Telegraph Code and Double Index-Holocryptic Cipher

    J. G. Bloomer. San Francisco: A. Roman & Co., 1874
    original at Stanford (384.2   B655)

    By the use of this work, Business Communications of whatever nature may be telegraphed with Secrecy and Economy.

  10. 1874   The General Telegraph Code
    Compiled for the use of Bankers, Merchants, Brokers, and Sharebrokers, for the economical and secret transmission of mercantile telegrams.

    By the author of the Cotton Telegraph Code. [Henry Robert Meyer]
    London: Hamilton, Adams, and Co., Paternoster Row. St. Petersburg: Watkins and Co. 1874 From whom Special Private Editions may be obtained.
    xvi, 270 + 12 unpaginated blue ruled sheets (24 pp) at end
    At Bodleian (25789.d.56)

    English dictionary codewords.

  11. 1874   The International Mercantile Telegraph Code
    Compiled for the use of bankers, merchants, manufacturers, contractors, brokers, shipowners, &c., and their agents, for the economical and secret transmission of Business Telegrams. The ciphers being words of ten letters or under, to meet the requirements of the rules adopted at the St. Petersburg Interational Telegraph Conference of 1875.

    By the author of the General Telegraph Code, the Cotton Telegraph Code, &c. [Henry Robert Meyer]
    London: Hamilton, Adams, and Co., 32 Paternoster Row. Liverpool Agents: J. Mawdsley and Son, Castle Street.
    At Bodleian (25789.d.11)

    English dictionary codewords. 226pp.

  12. 1876   Banking Telegraphy
    Combining Authenticity, Economy, and Secrecy. Being a Code for the Use of Bankers and Merchants.

    Robert Slater. London: W. R. Gray, Change Alley, Cornhill, 1876
    at Bodleian (196.h.33)

    Tables, across two pages, throughout.

    Table of Contents.
    Introduction (3). Tests for Messages (7). Key to verify amount transmitted (8). List of words illustrating ditto (10). Mode of using the Code (11). Messages illustrating the mode of using the Code (12). Secret method of Spelling Names, &c (13). Cash Payments (14). Credits (16). Bills of Exchange (18-27). Document Bills (28-33). Lost or Missing Cheques (34). Lost or Missing Drafts (36). Orders to Cancel previous instructions (38). Enquiries and Replies touching Credit of Firms (40). Rumours Current (42). Gold, Bonds and Exchange, Movements therein (44). Produce Markets, Movements therein (46). Purchases and Sales, and Enquiries thereon (48). Telegrams, Enquiries and Instructions respecting them (50). Letters, ditto (52). Amounts or Numbers (54-67). Shillings and Pence (68). Calendar (70).


    pp42-43 ex Banking Telegraphy (1876)

    The larger (and more legible) Google scan of these pages can be found here. A panoptic presentation of message components (and their codeword intersections) such as that above, allows the user to survey at one glance a range of options. The vocabulary is controlled, of course. Where an important rumour is not represented by the available phrases, a user might 1 engineer something from elsewhere in this volume, or 2 resort to another code, or 3 s-p-e-l-l it out; additions would be circulated to holders of the code for inclusion and potential future use.

  13. 1876   The Three Letter Code
    For Condensed Telegraphic and Inscrutably Secret Messages and Correspondence.

    E(benezer) Erskine Scott, Actuary and Accountant, London. London, 1876.
    At Bodleian (25789.d.42)

    Impractical and inferior to other codes already available. Use of pre-concerted keyword enables a variety of permutations of three-letters to generate cryptograms. one three-letter code per word (not phrases).

    This copy (like same at BL), seems to be deposited to protect copyright; it provides a four-page explanatory preface, a two-page examples and illustrations, and three pages of vocabulary.

    Its Table of Contents projects a volume of 227+ pages.

  14. 1877   Ager’s Shipping Telegraph Code, for the use of Shipowners, Captains, &c.
    Compiled by Geo. Ager, LL.D. Author of the Telegram Code, The Social Code, &c.

    London: Norie & Wilson, 157, Leadenhall Street, E.C..
    Bodleian copy (accession date : December 1877)

    Preface iii-iv; Classified Index v-viii; code 1-304 — including spare words commencing p276.

    In his preface, Ager thanks shipping firms for the liberal manner in which they have placed their Private Codes at his disposal. Codewords are taken from his Telegram Code, supplemented by others of nine and ten letters, and also by some of the more common Latin words. He also discusses the elision of about 1,500 common names, to avoid confusion with ship names, with this observation: However, as ships are named on such various principles, or without any principle at all, the author may not have succeeded entirely in this respect...

    Codewords are numbered up to the commencement of Tables, so as to provide a means of giving them double duty: indicator of phrase, or figure. The addition of the letter C to a code word indicates that the succeeding word represents its cypher (figure), not phrase. Tables commence at p262 (for days, decimal currencies, sterling, freight rates, and discount percents).


    p184 (margins cropped) ex Ager’s Shipping Telegraph Code (1877)

    At this time, shipping firms/captains might have been more familiar with codes not strictly following alphabetical order, but grouping at least some phrases in thesauric categories as exemplified in nautical codes and in Scott’s Code (1880, 1883). Ager stuck with alphabetical order in all his codes, and also provides a thorough classified index.

  15. 1878   A. Chesebrough’s Private Telegraphic Code

    San Francisco: A.L. Bancroft & Company, Printers, 1878
    At UC Berkeley, The Bancroft Library

    Shipping, chartering. 16pp only, and code on pp 3-8, 9-16
    p3 bears LC no. HE7676 C45 (x).

  16. 1879   Private Telegraphic Code of Heath & Finnemore, Produce & Commission Merchants..

    London, Ontario. Vivian Printing House, 398 Clarence Steet, 1879.
    Open Library metadata:
    Filmed from a copy of the original publication held by the University of Western Ontario, D.B. Weldon Library, London. Ottawa : Canadian Institute for Historical Microreproductions, 1993.
    iv, 41 p. ; 26 x 20 cm.

    Dewey Decimal Class 384.1/4

    Grain (wheat), flour, butter, cheese, clover, peas (including Black-eyed Marrowfats at p39), oatmeal. All English dictionary codewords, whose initials indicate category/section of code. Phrases and tables.


    page 8, Private Telegraphic Code of Heath & Finnemore, Produce & Commission Merchants. (1879)


    page 30, Private Telegraphic Code of Heath & Finnemore, Produce & Commission Merchants. (1879)

    Uses partical prices in quotations/orders tables. Some tables (but not the one shown above), provide good explanations: e.g., —
    No mistake can be made in Flour to extent of 5/-. 0/0 stands for 15/-, 20/-, 25-, 30-, &c. Thus, Trading would stand for 19/6, 24/6, 29/6, 34/6, &c.
    It is supposed that an error of 20- in the Article Quoted can scarcely arise.

    Handsome typography, judging from scan of microform.

  17. 1879   J. R. Foster’s Private Telegraphic Code
    covering general business transactions, for the use of his correspondents only.

    Moncton, N.B. Daily Times Print, Moncton. 1879.
    Open Library metadata: Filmed from a copy of the original publication held by the National Library of Canada. Ottawa : Canadian Institute for Historical Microreproductions, 1993.
    iv, [3]-56, [8] p. ; 14 cm.

    Dewey Decimal 384.1/4 ; LC HE7677 G7 F67 1879


    pp 38-39 (as appear in PDF spread), J. R. Foster’s Private Telegraphic Code (1879)

    Instructions pp 1-2; Names of articles, specified quantities 3-4; quotations and quantities 5-9; letters, ec. 10-11; state of the market p 11; About buying (customer) 12-14; About buying (commission merchant) 14-15; About selling (customer) 16-17; About selling (commission merchant) 17-19; About holding and storing 19-20; About arrival and condition of goods, rejections, &c, 21-22; Miscellaneous 22-25; About buying/ time of delivery or shipment, 26-27; About shipping 28-31; Freights 31-32; Banking, financial and bills of lading, 33-42; Standing of firms, 42-43; Interest & commmission 43-46; Telegraphing, Correspondence and Communications 46-52; Insurance 53; Flour, grades & quantities, 54-56; Weights [57]; Key (cipher) [57]; non-code : Railroad freights (shipping rates, etc., [3 unnumbered pages]; index [2 unnumbered pages]

    good code, phrase-wise; poor quality film/scan.

  18. 1879   The Phillips Telegraphic Code
    for the rapid transmission by telegraph of press reports, commercial and private telegrams, and all other matter sent by wire or cable.

    Walter Polk Phillips. Washington, D.C., Gibson Brothers, Printers. 1879

    Operator’s code, abbreviations for words and short common phrases More on the Phillips Code at wikipedia; a transcription (by Joseph Hartmann) here. The Morse Telegraphic Club maintains other material, as well as links, on telegraphy; a two-page condensed version of Phillips can be found at their telegraph documents page.

  19. 1879   Private Cable Code for the Timber Trade.
    Price & Pierce, London.
    WLondon: J. Gilbert and Co., 18, Gracechurch Street, E.C.
    Google scan of Bodleian copy 25789.e.3, (accession 31 July 1884)

    [6], 1-174 and several [6?] blank sheets in back. TOC at (v-vi). Prices, quantities, specifications, special sizes, Descriptions and Specifications for a variety of wood types pp 57-94; also much on freights and chartering, selling and buying, reports and complaints, insurance, and names (styles) of firms.


    pp 64-65 (cropped), Descriptions and Specifications, ex Private Cable Code for the Timber Trade. (1879)

    Phrases, some x-y tables (in which codeword is intersection of two facets), shown below. Ample blank (skeleton) codewords for augmentations.


    pp 106-07 (cropped), showing phrases and tables for Freights and Chartering, ex Private Cable Code for the Timber Trade. (1879)

  20. 1879   Telegraphic Codex
    to accompany Port charges and requirements on vessels in the various ports of the world.With tables of moneys, weights, and measures of all nations, and a telegraphic codex for masters, owners, and ship brokers. By Theodore Hunter and Jarvis Patten, under the recommendation of the Maritime Association of the port of New York.

    New York: J. Wiley & Sons, 1879.
    Google scan, also available via Hathi Trust (viewable online, single pages downloadable, entirety only via partner institutions), here.

    The first part of the volume provides information on principal ports of North (and Latin) America, including maps (e.g., Baltimore Harbor, Galveston Harbor, San Francisco).

    The Telegraphic Codex starts at (unnumbered) page 300, commencing a new pagination 1-150. Part IV. Special Phraseology starts code page 110 here.The code is preceded by a one-page Directions for use, a three-page, three-column index, and the table of contents shown below —


    from Port Charges and Requirements on Vessels (1879); page cropped

    The code employs English and near-English dictionary codewords of various lengths, as short as four letters (tool / Lost part of deck load), up to 11 or 12 letters (unhappiness / It is the order of). Some of the pairings are charming: twaddle / Vessel referred to must be RECLASSED, twang / Vessel has been reclassed. The decision to combine code and information about port charges in a single large volume may have been unwise: port circumstances would likely have been subject to constant change, and the code is not designed to easily accommodate augmentations. A sample page is shown below. port_charges_1879_p122_600w808h.jpg

    ex Port Charges and Requirements on Vessels (1879); page cropped

  21. 1880   Combination Telegraph Code

    Arranged by Thomas Parker. Manchester, 1880
    At Oxford University

    Root and terminal (stems and terminations), Latin verbs of first and third conjugations only. A shipping code, comprised ot tables allowing 161,280 essentially different telegrams whose facets are qualities (56 possible), prices (72), quantities (10) and times of shipment or delivery (four).

  22. 1880   14,400 Latin Words
    Not exceeding ten letters / arranged both alphabetically and terminationally / representing / any three-letter group / and / any three two-figure groups not exceeding twenty-four.
    David Whitelaw, Her Majesty’s Printers’ Warehouse / Great New Street, Fleet Street

    27cm. (high), 11 printed pages: title, preface, detector (showing likely Morse signal errors), seven pages of roots/inflections, and table showing terminational order.
    Bodleian 196.h.49.

    The word telegraphic does not appear on the title page, but the volume is described thus by Bodleian — 14,400 Latin words [a telegraph code] — and Google Books.

    Generates genuine Latin words, from tables of roots and inflections. The inflections are re-used in each of the seven tables that comprise the code; roots are unique.


    details, ex 14,400 Latin Words (1880), the second of seven codeword pages.

    The preface explains that pairings of roots and inflections must respect roman/italic differentiations — the former are of first conjugation; the latter are of active verbs of the third conjugation. It would seem that someone’s classical education could not abide the formation of spurious words via conjugational miscegenation. See the preface for usage of the extra words at bottom of the page (in brief, allow shortened messages where several successive codewords use the same root.

  23. 1880   Ager’s Telegraphic Primer or Skeleton Telegram Code
    Consisting of 16,000 good English telegraphic words, compiled from the dictionaries of Webster and Nuttall.

    by Geo. Ager, LL.D., author of The Social Code, The Standard Telegram Code, The Telegram Code, and Ager’s Shipping Telegram Code.
    London: Dr. Ager, 50, Wellington Road, Stoke Newington, N., 1880
    At Bodleian (196.h.62)

    blank code: 000 / aback > 248,999 septennial. Ager’s preface is instructive —

    The Telegraphic Primer has been compiled to suit a large body of Merchants, who, on commencing business, wish to make their own Codes, and has been prepared upon a plan which experience has suggested to the Compiler is expecially suited to that purpose.

    The words—16,000 in number—are all good Dictionary words, and are all to be found in the Dictionaries of Webster or Nuttall.

    The words are all accompanied with cyphers. In the first 6,000 the cyphers proceed from 000 to 999 in separate thousands, as they are intended to facilitate the filling up of the Code at both ends, the Merchant in England filling up the odd numbers, and his correspondent the even numbers.

    The first 160 pages are printed with 25 words per page, and afford facilities for writing any of the longer sentences. The next 40 pages (161-200) contain two columns of 25 words each, and are intended to afford Code Words for the names of articles, indents, and shorter sentences, &c.

    The remaining 10,000 words, intended for Tables, Market Advices, Prices, &c., are arranged in closer columns of 50 words per column on the last 48 pages. The numbers indicating the thousands have been omitted at the head of the columns, so as to admit of their being added from the beginning or only from page 161.

    The Author is preparing a small work on Coding which will be ready shortly.

  24. 1880   The Telegram Code
    Consisting of nearly 56,000 good telegraphic words, 45,000 of which do not exceed eight letters. Compiled from the languages sanctioned at the London telegraph convention, 1879.

    G. Ager. Third Edition. London: Dr. Ager, 1880
    original at Harvard University, Cabot Library (Eng 4348.80.3)

    By good telegraphic words is meant pronounceable words (as required by European telegraph administrations) that are sufficiently different from each other to be distinguishable from others even in the event of mutilation in transmission.

    The code words are numbered, so that in some pre-concerted applications, the codewords could stand for a phrase alone, and/or for their respective figures. Thus, Encenago might signify either "Large clip of (Wool) this season" or the figure 14746. Ager instances the codeword Mutual 29795, which might be agreed to indicate time (first figure), destination (second figure), price (third and fourth figures) and order number (last figure). Thus : 2, 9, 79, 5 could signify : 2 (within 21 days), 9 (to Glasgow), 79 (at 16s. 9d. per barrel), and 5 (This is order No. 5).

    This copy is stamped B. S. Pray & Co., and includes holograph additions relating to wool, e.g., Batuffo 164/39 / The wool is full of carrot seed.

    The Telegram Code provides numerous blank tables, in the form of five columns of code words on a page facing a column of code words. The user fills in the column at left with names of the leading articles traded in, or with different qualities of the same and the headings to the columns at right with other facets of information (e.g., mode of shipment, or quantity). The arrangement — which is commonly encountered in the code dictionaries — allows of a better surveyability and saving of space but does not result in a saving of the number of indications, i.e., code words or ordinals. (Barto 1934 : 36)

    British Library lists numerous codes compiled by Ager, including general, social, special (engineering, shipping, financial) and private (indigo) codes, as well as combination codes; he also compiled several lists of code words complying with Telegraph Convention rules. It is likely that Ager compiled other private codes, consistent with his willingness, expressed in the preface, to assist purchasers of the Code who may wish to construct Special Tables with the Cyphers.

  25. 1880   Private Telegraph Code of Hamilton, Fraser & Co.

    Liverpool, 1880
    At Bodleian (196.h.54)


  26. 1880   Maguire’s Code of Ciphers:
    A comprehensive system of cryptography designed for general use and arranged in conformity with the rules and regulations adopted by the International Convention of Telegraph Companies, respecting Secret Language Telegrams.
    Charles H(enry). J(Joseph). Maguire, Chief Accountant of the Union Bank of Lower Canada. Quebec, 1880.
    Filmed from a copy of the original publication held by the D.B. Weldon Library, University of Western Ontario

    [eight prelim pages (only v and vii paginated)]; 1-113, [1]; index tabs at right.
    LC describes thus : vii, 113, [1] p. 21 cm.; call number: HE7673 .M23
    Introduction pp v-vi, followed on p vii by a (transposition) key, one column of which is filled in.

    one page geographical names, two of banking phrases (pp99-101), and numbers pp 102-103; the rest is 18,000 words, each indicated by a 3-letter cipher, whose letters in turn point to page (table), column, and word.

    In essence a three-letter code, each 3L cipher pointing to a location in the book. Brings to mind John Brookes his Alphabet Telegraph Code, specially prepared for the butter and general provision trades (Manchester, 1889). Maguire did not elaborate a phrase vocabulary, however, beyond the two pages shown below.

    details, ex Maguire’s Code of Ciphers (1880), pp 100-101, from scanned films

    Could not work in this form for cable; purely suited to secrecy, not safety.

  27. 1880   The Commercial Telegraph Code
    for the use of Bankers, Merchants, Manufacturers, and Brokers and their Agents. A re-compiled edition of the International Telegraph Code, with Ciphers of ten letters or under, and specially selected to meet the requirements of the Rules adopted at the London International Conference of 1879,

    Compiled by H. R. Meyer, B12, Exchange Buildings, Liverpool, author of the International, General, Cotton Telegraph Codes, etc.
    London: Hamilton, Adams & Co, 1880; Liverpool Agents, J. Mawdsley & Son.
    At Bodleian (196.e.61)

    Important Notice. The International Telegraph Code.
    The International Telegraph Congress, held in London this year (1879), having decided to prohibit the use of proper names used adjectively, the author of the International Telegraph Code much regrets to be compelled to issue a New Edition of that work for use with countries affected by the new rules, as it contained some ciphers which come under the above clause. For such countries as are unaffected by the rules of Telegraph Congress — for instance, the United States — the original edition will remain as effective as ever, and therefore, in announcing the issue of a new edition, the author desires it to be distinctly understood, that the original edition of the International Telegraph Code will be continued as heretofore. In order to distinguish the new edition from the old, it will be published under the name of the Commercial Telegraph Code. at 25ss. per Copy.

  28. 1880   Law’s mercantile cipher code
    for forwarding business communications by telegraph, telephone or postal card, with secrecy and economy. Published by W. A. Law & Co., Union Loan Buildings, Nos. 28 and 30 Toronto Street / In use by subscribers and attorneys of the Canadian Reporting and Collecting Association

    Toronto: Bingham & Taylor, Printers, 33 Colborne St. 1880

    Filmed from a copy of the original publication held by the National Library of Canada; Microfilm is of poor quality.

    (English) dictionary codewords. All codewords/phrases are numbered, with extra blank provided for private code words, to be selected from codewords provided, along the lines of Slaters.

    instructions and examples pp 106; blank cipher code 7-14, weights and quantities 15; freights 15-16; railways 16017; state of markets 17; time 18; drawing 18; financial 19-20; communications 20-21; notes and protests 21; selling 21-22; buying 22-23; shipping and forwarding 23-24; arrivals 24; advances 24-25; commission 25; interest 25-26; stocks, banks, etc. 26-27; insurance companies 28; railways [bonds] 28-29; mercantile reports — amounts 29-32; articles [e.g., Wheat, No. 1 Spring] 32-34; hardware 34-35; oils 35-36; lumber 36; months 36-37; leather 37-39; tanner’s supplies 39; terms 39-40; miscellaneous 40-44; index 45

  29. 1880   Appendix Telegraph Code
    A Blank Code of German Ciphers, selected to meet the requirements of the rules passed at the London Telegraph Congress of 1879.

    Compiled by H. R. Meyer, B12, Exchange Buildings, Liverpool, author of the Commercial Telegraph Code, International Telegraph Code, General Telegraph Code, and Cotton Telegraph Code, To which it is intended as a Supplement, as well as to Private Codes
    London: Hamilton, Adams & Co, 1880; Liverpool Agents, J. Mawdsley & Son.

    At Bodleian (196.e.62)

  30. 1880   Cypher Code
    Compiled by Messrs. Phipps & Co. for their own use and for the use of Messrs. J. L. Phipps & Co. of New York

    Liverpool, 1880
    original at Bodleian (196.e.63)

    coffee, and (to a lesser degree) River Plate produce, cereals, cotton

    elaborate tables for combinations of grades, intelligence on tone of market, etc. to be compared against other coffee codes, including Doane.

  31. 1881   The A.B.C. domestic code
    All words of six to ten letters, from Webster’s Dictionary.

    Henry Harvey 125 Pearl Street, New York. 1881
    original at Harvard’s Cabot Library : Eng 4348.81

    Several pages of preliminary matter (title page, intro) followed by code pp 1-360.

    Codewords at outside columns; most spreads provide blanks on one page, phrases (or occasional tables) on other. Handsome typography.

    A.B.C. / The Send-off.
    The principal idea in a Code Book on this plan is that it requires no Introduction or Explanation whatever. He who runs may read a message, or send one off, with equal facility; All the Leading Words, printed in SMALL CAPITALS, being run in strict Alphabetical order like a Dictionary, as are also the Code Words, over Ten Thousand in number. Only, when you don’t find a needed phrase under one of its Leading Words, try under another.
    In making up the Sentences, I have sought to cover General Domestic requirements rather than Specialties of any particular trade, though some of these may be found too.

     Abandon the whole thing.disemploy
     Abandon to insurance.disempower
     The color will answer, but the quality won’t do.flipdog
     Be very careful about color.flipflap
     Thermometer now — degrees below zero.thuringite
     Thermometer now — degrees above zero.thussock

    Tables include p124 for dimensions in feet, or pp 220-221 for percentages.

    A second edition appears in 1885, with a 60-page appendix of additional matter, e.g., sterling amounts, but also new phrases.

  32. 1881   Macgregor’s Variation Tables for Code Telegraphing
    Table of fifteen signs for indexing telegrams and other purposes.

    Manchester: Palmer and Howe, n.d. (but accession Bibliotheca Bodleiana May 1881)
    original at Bodleian (196.h.48); also BL 8756.ee.29

    Preface v-x; (2); 1-147; Suggestions for Tabulated Forms 148-150
    N.B. : I have not examined a physical copy, but all printed pages 1-147 appear to be recto only, obverse blank.The book has two parts: the first is a figure code, whose figures indicate sequences of letters from one to 15 letters in length, each respectively indicating a topic (and or table) from which the meanings of successive following codewords are to be found; the second (and arguably more useful) part is a suggestion for generating a figure code for tables of different numbers of columns. The author P Macgregor writes in his (promotional-toned) preface that his Table is compiled on a system that is entirely different from that of any published code, and that it has been in constant use in the author’s own business (between England and South America) for several years with perfect success. I have not yet been able to learn who P Macgregor, or his business, was.

    The Variation Tables
    These tables provide indicator figures, each indicating the topics (and their associated tables) from which subsequent codewords are to be looked up. Here is an example of such figures and index letter sequences —


    ex Macgregor’s Variation Tables for Code Telegraphing (1881), p98 (detail)

    The cipher 22800 (whether expressed as a figure, or converted into a pronounceable codeword) indicates that the succeeding codewords regard topics F, G, I, K, L, M, N and O, in that order. Macgregor gives the following suggestion about what such index letters could indicate —


    ex Macgregor’s Variation Tables for Code Telegraphing (1881), p vii (detail)

    The main purpose of this system is to get the most out of limited number of codewords — limited either because of cable administration rulings, or the shortage of safe and euphonious codewords for assembly of a larger code. By this system, a single codeword can be used for up to 14 meanings (signs A through N) or, as Macgregor writes, a code capable of expressing a hundred thousand words becomes becomes practically equal to one of nearly a million and a half of Code words. This is made possible by the index system, providing a map, as it were, to how to translate a succession of codewords by pointing to their respective topics or locations within a code.

    The requirement that the variations are always to be placed in alphabetical order would potentially limit flexibility about message construction.

    Suggestions for Tabulated Forms
    Macgregor’s system is designed to work with tables; this section feels like an afterthought, but in fact integrates well with index code just described, and is a pretty good exposition of a method for assembling tables for use with a figure code. I don’t however have a good sense of the degree to which it was used in practice. Shown below is the second example provided for a four-column (four heading) table, within the power of a Code of 10,000 words (words here meaning, separate items/indications) —


    two examples for a table of four unequal columns... within the power of a Code of 10,000 words,
    ex Macgregor’s Variation Tables for Code Telegraphing (1881), pp 149-50 (rearranged for this presentation)

    So how does this work?

    First, it assumes tables. A table would be devoted to a specific topic, e.g., Shipments to Manchester. Each of the four headings/columns would indicate some facet of meaning relating to those. For example:
    Column 1 : month or other timeframe, 14 possible meanings;
    Column 2 : price (possibly partical price,), 11 meanings;
    Column 3 : quality, 8 meanings; and
    Column 4 : some other specification (e.g., color, or indicator for following code word/figure), 10 meanings —

    Second, let us say a coded message 6,291 is received. We understand it to be derived from a table with four columns. We unpack it as follows:
    The largest figure in Column 1 that is contained in that figure is 5600 (sign 9). Remainder (6,291 minus 5,600) is 691.
    Largest figure in Column 2 is 630 (sign 10), remainder 60.
    60 in Column 3 is Sign 7.
    There is no remainder, and so there is nil value for the fourth position.

    The message would be 9 - 10 - 7 - nil, whatever values 9, 10, and 7 respectively pointed to.

    Third, one would commence compiling a Table from the right, the rate of progression being the top number reached in the last column. In the example above, the top figure in Column 4 is 10, and so the rate of progression in Column 3 is 10; top figure in Column 3 is 70, and so the rate of progression in Column 2 is 70; and so on.

    Because there would probably be several — and even many — such tables in a large code, there would also need to be indicators (possibly contained in Column 4, in this example) of those tables. I.e., last sign 4 might mean, turn to Table D to translate next code word/figure.

    The 10,000 mentioned by Macgregor isn’t clear to me: 14 x 11 x 8 x 10 = 12,320 (so perhaps I’m misunderstanding this).
    Macgregor offers no examples containing phrases or full (plaintext) messages.

    Mr Herb’s Numbers
    Barto discusses what is essentially the same system in his Economy and Technique of Codes and Code-Condensers (1934) pp38-41, at the end of a section on tables. Barto gives an example taken from C Herb’s Code-telegrafie voor handel en nijverheid (Amsterdam, 1903 — itself a free translation from Herb’s Kaufmännische Telegrammatik (Leipzig, 1900)) — employing 46,800 code words in five headings (or columns) in a table. (I may show this later).

    The Barto example concerns shipments to Manchester, by the way.

    The title page asserts that This work is copyright, both in principle and detail, and each copy of the book is said to bear the written signature of the author (as this one does). The principle is probably more important than the text, in this case, and it might arguably be better protected by patent than copyright. Indexing systems were patented in the United States; this may not have been the case in Britain at the time, however.

  33. 1881   Whittingham’s Skeleton Telegraph Code.
    ...A Secret, expansive code for ordinary business purposes. With code words representing fractions, weights, numbers, pounds sterling, merchants’ orders, every date in the year, &c., including blank pages and extra lines available for 4,148 special messages. All Code Words revised under the latest International Regulations.

    London: W. B. Whittingham & Co., 1881
    original at Bodleian (25789.e.5)

    Copyright page advert describes Whittingham & Co. thus : Wholesale & Retail Manufacturing & Export Stationers, account book makers; commercial, law and general steam printers; lithographers & engravers of bills of exchange, bills of lading, promissory notes, bankers’ cheques. Printers in all heads of Plain and Chromo-Litho Circulars and Price Currents. Booksellers and Publishers. Office for The Peninsular and Oriental, The British India, Australian, Eastern Trade, Cape, Continental, Sailing, and other Bills of Lading.
    Works — 4, White Hart Court, Bishopgate Church.
    91, Gracechurch Street, London, E.C. (six doors from Cornhill).

    blank. pp 195-205 are a Merchants’ Secret Order Code, being three columns of code words (1-16) arrayed with blank row and column heads

  34. 1881   Wilson’s Ship Broker’s Telegraph Code
    Compiled specially for chartering negotiations.

    London: Effingham Wilson, 1881
    Bodleian (196.e.80)

    Ship brokerage, especially American grain and cotton trades — The combinations and sentences have, however, as far as possible, been so arranged as to make them suitable for other trades.

  35. 1881   Private Telegraphic Code with James Adam, Son & Co.
    Liverpool, 1881. Third Edition.

    Printed at the Liverpool Mail Office, Central Chambers, South Castle Street.
    Bodleian copy, accession 28? November 1883.

    Produce. Phrase headings for almonds, currants, dates, eggs, figs, grapes, guano, lemons, linseed, melons, nuts, onions, oranges, pears, pine apples, persimmons, plums, pomegranates, potatoes, prunes, raisins, rice, salmon, sardines, tomatoes and wool.

    Hard to understand the reasoning behind inclusion of 1810 Glowing / Eloped and 1811 Glowworm / Has eloped from this.

  36. 1882   Telegraphic Code to insure privacy and secrecy in the transmission of telegrams
    by Frank Miller (Sacramento, California)

    New York: Charles M. Cornwell, 247 Pearl Street. 1882
    NYPL TTD+ (Miller, F. Telegraphic code) — LC copy HE7673 .M65

    118 p., 1 l. 31 cm.

    Preface pp 3-4; Test-words page 5; Fractions and Amounts pp 6-10; New York Bankers pp 10-11; Words and Phrases pp 11-91; Reports page 91; Time page 92; and Extra Cipher-Words pp95-98; followed one printed page containing an index and an index-like special lists for pages 99-118 (which do not, evidently, exist in the book from which this example is scanned).

    The extra cipher-words run from 12302 Selfhelp through 13999 Wardance (not1400 as the Preface states), totalling 1697.

    In his preface, Miller is very clear about this code differs from cable codes: For inland telegraphing, simplicity and speed are more important than economy. With cablegrams the reverse is the case. Cable codes are mainly composed of vast numbers of phrases, and are so intricate that few country bankers will use them (p3). His code provides fewer, and shorter, phrases. A majority of the phrases are one and two words in length (the book is typeset in two columns per page). His extra cipher-words enable users to customize the code for special purposes. The code provides no tables in which code words are at the x,y intersections of columns and rows of meaning.


    Detail, page 54 ex Telegraphic Code to insure privacy and secrecy in the transmission of telegrams (1882)

    Shown below is detail from page 91, showing some words and phrases, and some report phrases —


    Detail, page 91 ex Telegraphic Code to insure privacy and secrecy in the transmission of telegrams (1882)

    Secrecy for monetary transactions is the important feature of this code. To ensure secrecy, a shift number feature is provided, whereby each message is translated by a key that is not repeated. I believe the explanation given by Miller, and shown below, is clear enough —


    Detail from Preface (p4), Telegraphic Code to insure privacy and secrecy in the transmission of telegrams (1882) (rearranged for this presentation)

    No explanation is given about how to translate a codeword whose sum serial number exceeds 13999 — presumably, one would circle round to the beginning of the code.

    Sequences of these irregular shift numbers are to be discarded with each use. Something like — but falling short of — this method is found in Robert Slater’s Telegraph Code, to Ensure Secresy in the Transmission of Telegrams (1870), shown above. Slater suggests a variety of ways to add, subtract and otherwise permute figures so as to disguise the intended codewords; he does not however provide for a different key for each successive codeword. A clever banker might have seen a way to do this. Frank Miller would appear to be just such a clever banker, and one who published his system.

    Steven M. Bellovin argues that this code provides the earliest example of a one-time pad that is commonly supposed to have been invented during World War I. I have not yet seen his paper (in Cryptologia) but the issue is discussed by John Markoff in Codebook Shows an Encryption Form Dates Back to Telegraphs in The New York Times (July 25, 2011), here. See also this discussion of one-time pads within Dirk Rijmenants’s Cipher Machines and Cryptology site.

  37. 1882   The Globe Commercial Telegraph Code
    for the use of mercantile firms and their agents and correspondents. with ciphers of ten letters or under, to conform to the Rules of the London International Telegraph Congress of 1879.

    Compiled by H. R. Meyer. Liverpool and London, 1882
    Bodleian (196.h.50)

    Faulty scan; all printed pages appear to be present, but code proper commences at page 212 of the PDF, following 200 blank pages.

  38. 1883   Scott’s Code
    The Ship Owners’ Telegraphic Code 1880. By E. B. Scott. Reprint, with Supplement 1882 combined.
    London: Published by the Author, at 2, Brabant Court, Philpot Lane, E.C.
    Liverpool and London [1883 from internal evidence]

    Arranged in two parts: the first being thesauric, the second (pp 271-535 being alphabetical order of codeword). This is one of several ship owner’s codes compiled by Scott, somewhat transitional in character. This is comparable to Scott’s The Steam Ship Owners’ Telegraphic Code (1874). The thesauric arrangement of phrase matter, and alphabetical order of codewords, yields non-sequitur phrase sequences in the second part of the code, as shown at p272 :

  39. 1883   Telegraph Code, 1883. Preston, Kean & Co., Bankers
    100 Washington Street, Chicago, Ill.

    At University of Illinois at Chicago

    Index to code.
    Amounts, 38; Character of Firms, 28; Chicago Banks, 35; Collections, 30; Commercial paper, 27; Correspondence, 32; Foreign Exchange, 25; Government Bonds and Miscellaneous Securities, 18; Land Warrants and Scrip, 21; Lost or Missing Drafts, 34; Municipal Bonds, 20; Purchase and Sale of Securities, 22; Rates, 40; Tranfers, Remittances, Etc., 36

    Telegraph code pp 18-40

  40. 1883   The Globe Telegraph Code.
    Specially compiled to meet the requirements of all branches of the mercantile profession throughout the world. on the twoletter difference principle,in accordance with the Rules of the Telegraph Convention.

    By E. Garsin. All the ciphers used being Spanish, and not over then letters, they are adapted for both European and extra-European messages.
    London: Wm. Dawson & Sons / New York: George Cumming, 1883
    original at Bodleian

    root and terminal, blank

  41. 1884   Cypher Code for Telegraphy
    arranged for use with telegraphic codes, vocabularies, etc., etc., etc. By Thomas S. Dunn.

    London: Waterlow &: Sons Limited, Printers, London Wall, and 49, Parliament Street, 1884
    At Bodleian (shelf number obscured)

    3L ciphers. 113 pages, from p1 AAA to 113 ZZZ.

  42. 1885   The Telegraph Formula and Code Combiner,
    Frederic George McCutcheon, comp.
    London: Marchant Singer and Co., 1885
    At Bodleian (25789.d.32)

    Discussion of this and other codes compiled by F. G. McCutcheon has been revised, expanded and moved to a separate page.

  43. 1885   Cable Code
    John Crossley & Sons, Limited. Halifax, England. 1885.

    dictionary English code words.
    viii, 1-72pp; blank code pp 55-72

    At Bodleian (25789.d.14)

    John Crossley & Sons was (and remains) a major carpet weaving firm; incorporated jacquard process in the 1830’s; produced printed tapestries and velvets. Code phrases regard ordering, inventory and shipments of mats, carpets, rugs, tapestries, saddle bags, royal velvet; tapestry and velvet squares (floor coverings); table covers.

  44. 1885   Scott’s Code
    The Ship Owners’ Telegraphic Code (1885 Edition.)
    sixth edition

  45. 1885   Telegraphic Cipher,
    Compiled by W. G. Press & Co. Chicago. (for the exclusive use of themselves and their correspondents.
    Chicago: Press of Cameron, Amberg & Co., 1885.
    At Harvard YBKL P935

    dictionary English code words. i-v, 6-66

    Meat, grain (trade, commission).

  46. 1885   The Pocket Telegraphic Code
    Containing more than 300 one-word telegra[ms ?]
    London: W. H. Beer & Co., 1885
    Bodleian (25789.f.5)

    (poor scan)

    Index to subjects
    Absence from Home; Appointments; Betting; Bookseller; Bootmaker; Buying and Ordering; Cabs and Carriages; Calls; Dinner, Not Coming Home, Bringing Friends Home, &c.; Dressmaker; Gunmaker; Health, Questions and Answers Concerning; Houses, Hotels and Apartments; Invitations, Giving and Receiving; Legal Proceedings; Letters, Sending, to be Called for, &c.; Livery Stable Keeper; Milliner; Money, Telegraphing for, Transmitting; Pastry Cook; Physician or Surgeon; Servants, Engaging &c.; Tailor; Telegrams on Business (Agents and Correspondents); Theatres and Concerts, Taking Seats for; Washerwoman; Weather.

    Zopis / What is the sea like?
    Zymo / Better not cross to-day.

  47. 1885   Sixpenny Telegrams
    Scott's Concise Commercial Code of General Business Phrases

    By E. B. Scott. Author of The Ship Owners’ Telegraphic Code.
    London, published by the author.
    Bodleian 25789.e.13, digitized June 5, 2007

    The success of Scott’s Code in connection with shipping (see Page 64), has led the author to offer to the Public this little Code of a more general Commercial character, to assist in availing of the reduced tariff for Inland Telegrams.
    The Code Words (between 1,300 and 1,400) are, for the most part, familiar words; as recommended by authority.
    Groups of figures, carefully selected, are provided for 500 phrases to be added by purchasers to suit their special requirements and private communicatins. These phrases can, by arrangement, be printed if desired.

  48. 1885   Telegraphic Code
    ex The American Florist, A Semi-Monthly Journal for the Trade 1:7 (November 15, 1885)

    At Cornell University

    Entirety below.

    Telegraphic Code. We print below the code adopted by the committee appointed at the Cincinnati meeting of the Society of American Florists, and recommended to the wholesale flower trade for general use.
    Abrogate.In case you cannot fill order, telegraph at once.
    Anticipate.Answer at onoe, stating whether you can or cannot fill order.
    Ambition.If you can only partially fill order, do so, and reply, stating what.
    Ambulance.Want all of order filled or none, and prompt answer back.
    Admiral.Order must be sent on train mentioned only.
    Adjacent.If cannot send on train mentioned next one will do.
    Affection.Fill if possible, even at extra expense.
    Affable.Send prepaid by baggage master, if no express messenger on train.
    Ancestor.This order is in addition to my regular order.
    Admission.This order is a substitute for my regular order.
    Decorate.If cannot send all on train mentioned, send all you can, and send balance on next train.
    Dancing.If cannot fill exactly as specified, you may substitute according to your best judgment.
    Durable.These flowers are for funeral purposes and colored flowers must not be substituted for white.
    Fabricate.Flowers ordered are to be reshipped to a distance, therefore buds must be cut specially close.
    Fortunate.Select extra stock and charge accordingly.
    Devotion.For cheap work, and can use second-class flowers if at reduced price.
    Flattery.If price has advanced since last quotation do not send goods, but telegraph.
    Forgery.This order countermands all previous orders.
    Fandango.This order to be duplicated daily till further notice.
    Formation.Add these items to the order which you already have, but in case first order is already shipped, cancel this addition.
    Flamingo.We are In a bad pinch; send us something to help us out, even If of poor quality.
    Flocking.Have sent mail order; if not yet received, send following at once, and cancel mail order when received.
    Foraging.This order includes all items previously ordered and wanted for this date.

    Unquestionably the above will save the trade much expense, and at the same time make plain many points continually arising, which have heretofore been left in doubt because of the large number of words necessary to fully explain. Let every dealer see that both his customers and shippers are provided with a copy. —Ed.

  49. 1885   Spalding’s Telegram Guide
    Full title:
    The Stock Exchange Speculators’ Guide to Cheap Telegrams compiled expressly for the use of stock brokers & their clients, by F. W. Spalding.

    n.d., n.p. but 1885 according to BL and Bodleian. 18cm high (Bodleian)
    W. Allen, Printer, Norwich (on last printed page).

    Bodleian, 25789.E.6 ( here )

    Eight (printed) pages, including title and preface (code 3-8). The code commences with a Part I (pp3-4), followed by Part II (pp4-8); the volume feels unfinished, may have been printed as a prospectus (or device to secure copy right).

    From Sabine / How are the markets?
    Sanity / You omitted to enclose check

    Odd, because Sanity / You omitted to enclose check appears at bottom of p 4 as well as p 8.

  50. 1886   Bloomer’s Commercial Cryptograph,
    — A telegraph code and double index—holocrytic cipher.
    By J(ohn). G(odfrey). Bloomer, author of the Pacific Cryptograph.
    By the use of this work, business communications of whatever nature may be telegraphed with secrecy and economy.
    New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1886

    231 printed pages, including title.

    The sole difference between this and the 1874 San Francisco edition appears to be the title page, which was slightly more decorative in the earlier version.

  51. 1887   Telegraphic Code, The American Educational Catalogue
    Publishers Weekly (July 30, 1887)

    A telegraphic code for ordering text-books, which is intended to replace the individual codes issued by publishers... with a uniform method for the entire trade... based on the name of publisher, name of author, and designation of individual book (sometimes by initials and sometimes necessarily arbitrary) — a natural system... also allows code-signs for new books to be interpolated in future catalogues without breaking down the system...

    The code does seek to provide a unique telegraphic name for each title, that would later be attempted by OCLC and ISBN numbers. It is unworkable because too complex, and too complex because it seeks to accommodate books from various publishers, including books that do not yet exist.

    The Educational Catalogue itself (with codewords for each title) runs on pages 95-127; a subject classification appears on pp 127-32; followed by instructions for use of the code (p133) and a list of educational publishers (with the respective 2L ciphers) on page 134.

    Each book is designated by six letters:
    the first and second being the first two letters of the author’s or series’ name... ;
    the third and fourth the designation of the book by that author or in that series;
    the fifth and sixth the abbreviation of the publisher.

    Thus, AdefCO would mean Addick’s Elementary French, published by Charles Collins.

    Exceptions (same book issued by different publishers, different items in series, etc) are handled by adjusting the ciphers, or affixing letters indicating ordinal numbers (m-1st, n-2d and so on through v-10 or 0). Quantities are indicated by adding letters to the six-letter name for a respective title (a-1, b2, x-3, d-4, e-f, f-6, g-7, h-8, i-9, j-0, k-00, l-000).

    The third and fourth letters designating title (rather than author) are inconsistent: sometimes sensible (gp for Greek Prepositions), sometimes arbitrary (hz for key to Fourth German book).

  52. 1887   Telegraph & Cable Code, in use between John Paton & Co., New York, and — —

    Compiled by Benjamin Graham. c1883. This Third Edition 1887
    John C. Hartfield & Son., Printers and Publishers of Cable Codes, 6 South William Street and 207 Fulton Street, New York.

    University of Chicago, digitized February 27, 2012

    111pp, securities, syndications

    Concludes with an Appendix of spare codewords, Forgives > Fruticious.

  53. 1888   Telegraphic Code
    to Ensure Secrecy in the Transmission of Telegrams

    by Robert Slater, Secretary of the Socièté du Cable Transatlantique Français, Limited.
    Third Edition. London: W. R. Gray, 1888
    Internet Archive; original at University of Toronto (HE7675.S6.1888)

    See longer entry for 1870 edition

  54. 1888   Code Télégraphique Français
    — Pour réduire le coût des Télégrammes et en assurer le secret, par A(rmand). Coste

    Paris: A l’Administration du Code Télégraphique Français, 1888
    HathiTrust Digital Library, scan of NYPL copy.

    xx, 636 p.map.fol.

    Here is a major general code, in four parts; uses figures and codewords, and a Table Syllabétique for secure s-p-e-l-l-i-n-g of names of individuals and locations that are not found in the code. The long preface (pp v through vi) and Mode d’empoy du code (pp viii-xx) together function in part as a self-marketing device. The latter includes five example messages (coded and plaintext), plus instructions for encoding long figures, and for encrypting messages using a pre-concerted key for a given day of the month, whereby codewords indicate figures, to/from which are added/subtracted certain numbers to yield the intended codewords.


    successive pages 221, 222 (not spread) Code Télégraphique Français (1888); note diagrammatic shapes (detail below)

    One finds code for marks/shapes also in cotton codes (indicating marks on bales, other packaging.


    detail, p222 Code Télégraphique Français (1888)

    Table of contents —

    Première Partie : Nombres et Quantités
    Nombres abstraits (entiers et fractionnaires) 1
    Numéros de 1 à 1,000 11
    Sommes en francs et centimes 19
    Sommes en piastres et cents (centimes et piastres) 23
    Sommes en livres sterling, shellings [sic] et pence 27
    Nombre de mètres, centimetres et milimètres 31
    Nombres de kilomètres 41
    Nombres de millimètres carrés 43
    Nombres d’hectares 47
    Nombres de litres 49
    Nombres de mèetres cubes 51
    Nombres de kilogrammes 53
    Nombres de tonnes (de 1,000 kilogr.) 55
    Taux pour cent 57
    Dates (du 1er janvier au 31 décembre) 621
    Dates (Millésimes de 1790 à 1980) 65
    Longueurs des barres métaliques 67
    Longueurs des plaques ou feuilles métalliques 689
    Largeurs des barres & plaques métaliques 71
    Epaisseurs et diamètres des barres, plaques et fils métaliques 73
    Mots disponibles pour nombres, quantités et mesures 75

    Deuxiéme Partie : Code Général 79
    here begin selections of Mots, locutions et phrases télégraphiés 81
    8001 / gabaliorum / abaissement — (note, handwritten notes here and throughout the phrase section)


    pp500-501, Code Télégraphique Français (1888)

    Dépêches spéciales pour la banque / la bourse et la commission 517

    Troisième Partie : Tables Géographiques / Administrations et services publics / fonctionnaires 563
    Tables Géographiques 565
    Noms de villes 571
    Administrations et services publics / fonctionnaires 581

    Quatrième Partie : Personnages et Établissements Divers / Journaux et revues / Tables syllabétiques 605
    Personnages politiques 607
    Établissements financieres et industriels / maisons de commerce et individus 610
    Journaux et revues 614
    Table Syllabétique 617

    Example below left shows syllabic s-p-e-l-l-i-n-g of a name; page at right shows codewords for first syllables in alphabetical order.


    successive pages (not spread) pp617-618, Code Télégraphique Français (1888)

    Mots disponibles / A l’usage des clefs employ´es pour chiffrer des depéches 633
    Alphabet Morse 637
    Table des matières 639

    Followed by 11 pages of advertisements.

  55. 1889   Clave telegráfica-telefónica mercantile arreglada para el uso del comercio
    Ségunda Edición Espaňola
    Imprenta Católica. Calle de Dr. Mier, Num. 70. Monterrey (Nuevo León), México. 1889

    original at University of Michigan

    Index (table of contents, and provisional translations)

    Nombres y definición de la Mercancías1names and definitions of goods
    Empaques y clases16packaging and classes (or qualities)
    Preguntas sobre cosechas25questions about crops
    Respuestas sobre cosechas27answers about crops
    Existencias y entradas al mercado (Preguntas)39stocks & market entries (queries)
    Informe sobre existencias y entradas al mercado41report on stocks & market entry
    Consümo y ventas (Preguntas57consumption & sales (queries)
    Consumo y ventas (Respuestas)66consumption & sales (replies)
    Compras (Preguntas)87shopping [?] (queries)
    Compras (Respuestas)97shopping [?] (replies)
    Muestras (Preguntas)124samples (queries)
    Muestras (Respuestas)127samples (replies)
    Consignaciones, embarques y fletes (Preguntas)131consignment, shipping and freight (replies)
    Consignaciones, embarques y fletes (Respuestas)134consignment, shipping and freight (replies)
    Clases y colores (Preguntas)139classes & colors (queries)
    Clases y colores (Respuestas)139classes & colors (replies)
    Importaciones y Exportaciones (Preguntas)142imports and exports (queries)
    Importaciones y Exportaciones (Respuestas)143imports and exports (replies)
    Mercado al día (Preguntas)145market day (queries)
    Mercado al día (Respuestas)147market day (replies)
    Adición á consumo, compras y ventas (Pgtas.)151addition to consumer purchases and sales (queries)
    Adición á consumo, compras y ventas (Rptas.)154addition to consumer purchases and sales (replies)
    Comisión y Corretaje (Preguntas)157commission & brokerage (queries)
    Comisión y Corretaje (Respuestas)158commission & brokerage (replies)
    Seguro (Preguntas)161certain [?] (queries)
    Seguro (Respuestas)163certain [?] (replies)
    Cambios, giros y remesas de fondos (Pregunta>)169exchange, transfers and remittances (queries)
    Cambios, giros y remesas de fondos (Rptas.)173exchange, transfers and remittances (replies)
    Fletes (Preguntas)186freight (queries)
    Fletes (Respuestas)187freight (replies)
    Ganadería (Preguntas)193livestock (queries)
    Ganadería (Respuestas)198livestock (replies)
    Telegramas (Preguntas)207telegrams (queries)
    Telegramas (Respuestas)209telegrams (replies)
    Cartas (Preguntas)215letters (queries)
    Cartas (Respuestas)217letters (replies)
    Para conocer si una plaza es buena (Preguntas)223to know if a place is good (queries)
    Para conocer i una plaza es buena (Rptas.)224to know if a place is good (replies)
    Operaciones Bancarias (Preguntas)253banking (queries)
    Operaciones Bancarias (Respuestas)262banking (replies)
    Capital, crédito, pagos y quiebras (Preguntas)276capital, credit, payments and bankruptcy (queries)
    Capital, crédito, pagos y quiebras (Respuestas)279capital, credit, payments and bankruptcy (replies)
    Filiación personal290personal attributes
    Documentos y Libros294documents & books
    Noticias de sensación (Preguntas)297sense of the news (queries)
    Noticias de sensación (Respuestas)299sense of the news (replies)
    Tanto por ciento315percentages
    Años, meses y dias321translation
    Monedas, pesas y medidas322coins, weights & measures
    Divisiones de la Tierra y puntos cardinales341divisions of land, points of the compass
    Divisiones del Agua342water divisions
    Naciones y Ciudades principales (Europa)342countries and principle cities (Europe)
    Naciones y Ciudades principales (Asia)358countries and principle cities (Asia)
    Naciones y Ciudades principales (África)360countries and principle cities (Africa)
    Naciones y Ciudades principales (América)362countries and principle cities (Americas)
    Naciones y Ciudades principales [Oceanía373countries and principle cities (Oceania)
    Alfabeto para marcas y lista de palabras en blanco
    374Alphabet for brands and blank word list
  56. 1889   A Brief Sketch
    Of Miner’s Coffee and Spice Mills and Coffee Hulling and Cleaning Establishment together with a history of coffee, some valuable statistics, telegraphic cipher and coffee shrinkage table..

    Written and compiled by W. H. Miner; San Francisco (?), 1889 (?)
    Internet Archive; original at Bancroft Library, UC Berkeley (HD 9195 B72 M52 1889 BANC)

    Introduction (7); Early History of Coffee (12); The Coffee Plant and its Cultivation (19); The Berry and the Bean (21); Harvesting and Preparation (25); Miner’s Mills—Coffee Roasting (29), Coffee Grinding (31), Spice Department <32), Packing Department (33); Miner’s Coffee Hulling and Cleaning Establishment (35); Medical and Dietetic Properties of Coffee (37); Statistical Tables (46); Coffee Shrinkage Table (49); Telegraphic Cipher — compiled and in use by W. H. Miner (50) — Price of Coffee (53), Price of Sugar (56), Price of Syrup and Molasses (59), Price of Rice (61), Price of Tea (63), Number of Lot (65), Amount in Bags, Hogsheads, Tierces or Barrels (68), State of the Market / Active (70), About Shipping (71), Terms and Stipulations (71), About telegraphing (72), Grades of Coffee (72), Grades of Syrup (72), About Insurance (73), Private Correspondence and Additions (74-78).

  57. 1889   Unicode The Universal Telegraphic Phrase-Book
    A code of cypher words for commercial, domestic, and familiar phrases in ordinary use in inland and foreign telegrams, with a list of prominent commercial firms who are Unicode users.

    Sixth Edition. London, Paris, New York & Melbourne, 1889
    original at University of Michigan

    Social code.
    Pages 1-96 are phrases, followed by several pages of free codewords.

    Table of Contents.
    Preface (iii). Transformations of Telegraph Signals (vii). Regulations as to Transmission of Telegrams (viii). Apartments (6). Appointments (7). Arrivals (9). Births (11). Cheques (16). Deaths (21). Departures (24). Detentions (25). Dinner Engagements (26). Goods (35). Health and Illness (36). Hotels (41). Invitations (48). Legal (51). Letters (55). Lunch Engagements (57). Marriages (59). Military (62). Money (64). Orders (67). Patterns (68). Racing (74). Railway Travelling (80). Remittances (81). Telegrams (88). Theatre Engagements (90). Weather (95). Private Code (97). UNICODE Users (103).

    Also at archive.org.

  58. 1889   Proposed Cable Chess Code

    O. E. Michaelis, Ph.D., Major of Ordnance, U.S.A.
    Columbia Chess Chronicle vol 5 (15 December 1889) : 111-113 ; refers to article a few pages previous (this scan) on same topic.

    Each square bears a 2L (consonant) name; a move from one square to another involves a 4L move-pair. In order to form a word (in one of the eight permissible languages), one adds vowels as required. Thus, cncr yields concur, and rnpc yields ironspike or any other word, in any of the languages, that answers the purpose.

  59. 1889   Dictionnaire du langage des nombres (cesges de damis)
    Dictionary of the numerical language (cesges de damis)

    discussion moved to separate page.

  60. 1890   Chess Telegraphic Codes

    by Edwyn Anthony, M.A. Printed and published by Waterlow and Sons Limited, London Wall, London. 1890
    original at Harvard : SG 3673 14

    Employs Compass Notation and a special form of same for the eight possible moves of a Knight. Figure code involves two tables (for two players remote from each other). Description of each move seems to depend on the coding for the opposite side’s move. A complete word code would require 315 pages, and so only one specimen page is printed.

  61. 1891   The Anglo-American Telegraphic Code
    to cheapen telegraphy and to furnish a complete cypher, adapated to use in general correspondence; including business, social, political and all other subjects of correspondence

    Published by the Anglo-American Code and Cypher Co.; Third Edition; New York, 1891 (1886)
    attributed to James K. Selleck

    original at University of Michigan

    Made famous in the blog and tweeto-sphere by Ben Schott in his twittergraphy essay in The New York Times (2 August 2009), and not only that, but an online twitter secret code book here prompted by that column and incorporating the Anglo-American.

  62. 1891   Private Telegraphic Code

    Williams, Brown &. Co., San Francisco. 1891
    William C. Brown, Book and General Job Printer
    Internet Archive; original at UC Berkeley

    dictionary English codewords

    canned fruits, canned meats, soups, salmon, etc., (packed at various locations, including Alaska); dried fruits (sun-dried), evaporated fruits, raisins, honey, beans, dried peas, nuts, seeds, rice (Sandwich Island, China), salt salmon; descriptive phrases for all above commodities; pig tin, onions, morning glory, clothes pins, codfish, hams, hops, coffee, oysters, corn and succotash; freights, insurance, shipping, etc., samples, quoting, offering, buying, selling (instructions, inquiries, ability to, inability to, declining sale, advice of sale, market, names of firms, routes; On the Road and at Home (112-114); money; flour, wheat, corn, barley; miscellaneous (137-142); lumber; weather reports (145-46)

  63. 1893   The United States Telegraphic Cipher
    Adapted to the use of dealers in fruit and produce, and merchandise brokers

    compiled by Joseph H. Wilson; revised edition. New York: Charles H. Parsons, 1893
    original at University of Michigan

    Abaft / New Layer Raisins
    Abandon / Boxes New Layer Raisins >
    Scuttle / 15/16 >

  64. 1894   The Adams Cable Codex

    Seventh Edition. Boston, 1894
    original at Cabot Science Library, Harvard (Eng 4348.94)

    Preface explains the use of a cable code, to individuals who may for the first time need one. E.g., —

    In regard to illness, Mr. Towzer’s wife is ill at home and he must be notified of the fact. Turning to the Index, we find a number of pages under this heading, and from page 17 we can make the following message: — MRS. TOWZER, ALBURNOUS, which would read, Mrs. Towzer is ill. Sickness is not serious, but keep within reach of telegram so that we can communicate with you if wanted.

  65. 1894   Inter-state Cipher
    arranged by H(armon). K. Pratt

    Minneapolis, 1894
    DULTC collection (scanned by Duke University from a private collection)

    domain : fruit shippers and jobbers

    code pp 3-182; index pp 183-84
    English and English-y codewords; phrases only
    index to jobbers and shippers pp 129-182

  66. 1894   Private Cipher Code

    Castle Brothers, San Francisco, 1894
    original at UC Berkeley

    code pages 5-154, in these categories (from Index) —

    Buying (109-1230; Calendar (90-93); Complaints and Allowances (67-72); Eastern Firms (124-142); Financial, Terms of Sale, etc (59-66); Grades and Qualities (79-89); Miscellaneous (143-154); Offerings, etc (19-24); Prices, etc (51-52); Responsibility (55-58); Samples, etc (5-11); San Francisco Firms (107-108); Selling (25-31); Shipping and Ordering (43-50); Shipping Routes (73-78); Stock and Market Prospects (12-18); Table of U.S. Gold Cents (94-97); Table of U.S. Gold Dollars (98-106); Writing and Telegraphing (32-42).

    code words: aback, abaft, abasement, abatable > gruff, grumpy, gruntle

  67. 1894   H. & W. Pataky’s Telegraphic Code
    for use in obtaining and Negociating Patents.

    Berlin. H. & W. Pataky, 25, Luisenstrasse, 1894
    original at NYPL

    [11pp] + 1-128pp (odd numbers on verso side)

    codewords may be Official Vocabulary, not limited to one European language.
    Table of contents provides subjects and their subdivisions, which are presented in what might be called (but is not) tables. The headings below are taken not from the TOC but from actual pages. For each section, phrases head columns (at top), and respective countries (and subcategories for different durations, etc.) head rows (at left).
    Instructions relating to the Filing of Applications, etc.1-8
    Instructions relating to the Amendment of Applications, etc.9-16
    Instructions relating to Appeals in the case of Applications being Rejected17-24
    Instructions relating to the Payment of Annuities and the Working of Patents25-32
    Instructions relating to Withdrawal of Applications and Extension of Time33-40
    Instructions relating to the forwarding of Papers, etc.41-48*
    State of the Case89-96**
    Assignments of Patents; Copies of Patents and Applications (Papers); Requests for Certificates of Filing and Annuity Receipts97-104
    Inquiries relating to Applications for, Granting of, and Validity of Patents, Costs of Applications, Annuities and Working105-112
    Special dates for Filing117
    Dates at which Annuity due / Working due118
    Action where case rejected119
    Dates of Granting / Issue120
    Forwarding of papers, Remittances, etc.121-122
    Telegrams sent and received124
    Sales of Patents125-126

    * page 47 is given as page 55.
    ** pp 89-96 is correct, pp 49-88 do not appear.

    ex Google scan of NYPL copy

  68. 1896   Adams Cable Codex (Ninth Edition)

    original at Harvard’s Cabot (Science) Library, Eng 4348.96

  69. 1896   Cipher Code for Astronomical Messages

    Edward S. Holden. Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific 8:49 (April 1, 1896): 109-133.
    Google Books scan here.

    Principles of the Cipher-Code
    General Rules for Astronomical Telegrams
    Seventeen-Word Dispatch
    Six-Word Position Message
    Thirteen-Word Message
    Short Index to Table IV
    Phrases. Table IV. Arbitrary Cipher-Code
    Table I (prefixes)
    Table II (affixes)
    Dates. Table III. Day of the Year

    From the introduction to Table IV —
    It is sometimes convenient, and it always saves expense, to have a phrase-code in which arbitrary words in the telegram stand for whole sentences in the translation. ¶ In my opinion, such tables are generally too long. ¶ The following table is essentially a copy of the Science-Observer Code sentences (and precepts), with different cipher-words, however. Every cipher-word belonging in this table has two syllables and six letters,; no more, no less. I have added a few needed phrases...

    An appendix Figure-Code Employed on the Continent of Europe is not available in the JSTOR scan, but is found in the Google Books / Indiana University copy, here.

  70. 1896   The Atlas Universal Travelers’ and Tourists’ Telegraphic Cipher Code

    Compiled by T. Walter Hartfield for the proprietor, C. Amory Stevens, 30 Broad Street, New York, U.S.A.

    original at NYPL

    xviii + 726pp ; codewords selected from those published by the Berne Convention; phrase lists, excepting only calendar and similar tables.

    from private collection.

    An example of a (Gertrude) Steinian phrase sequence... (Beckett listening in, too)

  71. 1896   Standard Telegraphic Code

    B. Franklin Lieber. Also known as Lieber’s Standard Telegraphic Code. New York: Lieber Publishing Co., 1896
    original at University of Toronto

    Pronounceable code words of five to ten letters taken from the Berne Official Vocabulary. 75,878 entries (including blank phrases).
    One of the major general codes, also published in German, French (and other?) editions; same code words would be retained in a in a 5-letter edition published in 1915.

  72. 1896   The Premier Cypher Telegraphic Code

    William H. Hawke, comp. London: Effingham Wilson, 1896
    original at Harvard

    An elaborate code, involving phrase vocabulary and multi-orientation tables that roughly approximate later figure code/condenser arrangements. The tables economize on codebook length, and theoretically aid quick location of needed phrases or other expressions contained within them. They merit close study.

    From the 3-page preface, one page of which is given over to example phrases, this :

    This ’saving in expense’ is of course the primary object of a Code, but the next consideration is to arrange a Code so that what is required to be transmitted can be sent with the least possible trouble and waste of time. ¶ This has been most carefully studied, and entirely novel and simple methods of tabulation introduced (as well as abundant references and cross-references) to make the Code rapid of use in every aspect.

    From notes to my own copy :

    pp 1-185 abaissais / A(an) [and instruction See page 309 being a sundry combinations table : cross referencing throughout ] > ayudado / Zinc-lined
    186-195 blank ayudantes > badehemd
    196-197 a blank combination table [ 1-60, a-k ]
    198-200 Reserved Tables. For combinations of 10 x 6 x 5. blank table, first orientation a > k, second and third orientations indicated by figures 1>30, in table. Added bonus : some of these tables have been filled in by user, including here; where three orientations in one codeword can be seen in action.

    201-500 consist of tables incorporating the whole of the ordinary English language as required in business and social communications, besides useful tables embodying the most important subjects which require to be telegraphed about. The code’s Index to Tables provides the following summary of tabulations :
    reserved 196-199; verb tables 202-273; auxiliaries 274-283; adjectives, etc. 284-305; interrogatives 306-307; [sundry] combination phrases 308-347; names combined with phrases 348-351; dates, time, etc. 352-399; prices, amounts, etc. (sterling) 400-413; prices combined with quantities, etc. 414-453; finance 454-461; decimal currency 462-470; quantities 471-479; terms and ports 480-481; shipping 482-485; market 486-493; telegrams, letters, etc. 494-499.

    A sundry combination phrase might involve : g / there is some + 29 / misunderstanding about = expletioni.
    a names in combination with sundry phrases might involve : k / [blank for name] + 16 / ’s consent has been obtained = ficedulis
    389 Firm offers with quantities and dates might involve : n / We make firm offer 250 (bales, cases, tons, or other quantities) + 14 / Feb., Mch., Apr. OR Aug., Sep., Oct. = grediner
    427 CAN BUY combined with QUANTITIES and PRICES might involve : i / Can buy 50 (bales, cases, tons, etc.) + 24 / [here, any one of six partical price ranges, each range offering as many as six possibilities] = investida (this page is among several missing from scan — though I’ve not checked the PDF; see instead pp 442-443, for you may sell combinations.

  73. 1896   The Dynamic Chess Notation
    containing a Code for Telegraphing Moves.

    from F. Startin Pilleau. The Dynamic Chess Notation : whereby any possible move in a game of chess can be accurately described by the use of two letters only. Illustrated by the complete set of games of The Petersburg Tournament, 1895-96. Published with the imprimatur of the British Chess Club. London, 1896.

    appeared as a supplement to the Chess Monthly, whose lovely cover is to be seen here

    The code enables any possible move to be described by two letters; it does not indicate position on board, thus, every piece must have a name (or label).

    original at Harvard : SG3673 231.2

  74. 1897   The Robinson Telegraphic Cipher Revised Edition

    originally published by S L Robinson, Author and Proprietor, Board of Trade, Chicago. This copy bears the pasted stamp of American Code Company, Publishers of Telegraph Codes, 83 Fulton Street, New York City.
    Cornell copy, but probably later than 1897 : this copy incorporates a Supplement, possibly prior to 1917, and certainly prior to 1925 (when the copyright was renewed, and a second supplement added). (I say this with some confidence: I have a copy of the 1897 edition, containing only the 103 pages.)

    The whole is 103pp (plus 29 page supplement), 3. x 5.25 inches.

    Grain, market, trade. Also provisions (hogs, pork, lard, green meats, bulk or dry salt meats, boxed or English meats, &c.), hay and straw, in salt, in pickle, etc. Pages with new content (that is, additions to an 1872 edition), are asterisked in the Index.

    Uses what Barto calls particle pricesWhen the price is manifestly above 1.10 the dollar will be understood and not expressed, as Churl, for 1.35 1/4. (Churl means 35 1/4).

    The Supplement has a separate pagination pp 4-29 (following its own title page, introduction and index), and covers breadstuffs (barley, buckwheat, corn, flour, oats, etc), as well as railroads, transportation lines, indemnities, miscellaneous.

    Designed for convenience and economy in domestic trade.

  75. 1897   Private Telegraphic Cipher Code
    arranged by Kerr, Gordon & Co., New York City.
    Cable address, Ciker.

    Nicholas Gessler, DULTC collection

    32 pages, of which pp 3-8 are information about Kerr, Gordon & Co., and about investments; p 9 treats How to use our code; and pp 10-32 are the code proper. Pages 15-26 are arranged in three columns, providing code for (1) Quantities, quotations, numbers; and (2, with fractions) Quotations for provisions. No blanks.

  76. 1898   Standard Telegraphic Code Lieber’s Standard Telegraphic Code.

    B. Franklin Lieber. New York: Lieber Publishing Co., 1898
    original at Cabot Science Library, Harvard : Eng 4348.78.2

  77. 1899   Private Telegraphic Code of Lunham & Moore,
    Freight and Insurance Brokers and Forwarding Agents, New York and London.

    Copyrighted, 1899, by Lunham & Moore, New York. Compiled by John Hinrichs, Baltimore. [obverse : Baltimore. Press of Fleet, McGinley & Co. / 1899]

    original at University of Minnesota, HE7677.P9 L9
    51, [1] p.18 cm.

    Tables pp 4-30, followed by General Phrases pages 31-50, and Addenda (phrases) pp 51-60. Appears to be sheets slipped/pasted in, pp50-52, including a list of other codes (Hinrichs, also ABC).

    Mainly grain, but other commodities too (cotton, lard, tallow, turpentine). Page 3 provides explanatory Notice and an Index (=table of contents).

  78. 1900   The Heath telegraphic cipher for the use of flouring mills and flour merchants
    and their traveling salesmen for the economical and secret transmission of business telegrams.
    Sold only by G. M. Heath, Author and Proprietor, La Crosse, Wisconsin, 1900

    Private collection, scanned by Duke University for the DULTC collection.

    domain : flouring mills and merchants

    This copy no. 149 (rubber stamped on property of page), property of Listman Mill Company, La Crosse Wisconsin and is loaned to E. Provost & Fils, Lewiston, Me.

    [8], 1-128, [4]; index last two unnumbered pages in front.
    all English & English-y codewords, Abaft – Umpire
    phrases only, no tables.

    some pasted in additions (printed)

  79. 1900   The Twentieth Century Telegraphic Cipher Code
    L. J. Guynes
    L. J. Guynes, New Orleans, Louisiana, 1900
    original at NYPL [LC cat number HE7677.C82.G9]

    domain : cotton seed products
    [4], 1-527
    codewords selected from Berne Official Vocabulary; unnumbered entries; numerous tables including offer tables pp 224-307
    In the use of the Offer Tables in this Code (from page 224 to 307 inclusive), it will be understood when cabled from Europe to America to be a nm offer to BUY, and when cabled from America to Europe will be a firm offer to SELL.

  80. 1901   Western Union Telegraphic Code (Universal Edition)

    New York, 1901

    original at University of Michigan (HE 7673 .W54 1901)

    index (3-8); code (9-803); Regulations for Cable Messages (804)
    numbered Berne-legal (?) codewords, phrases, tables

  81. 1901   Telegraph Code.
    pp 209-211, Official Automobile Blue Book, Eastern Edition (1901).
    original at Harvard (Cabot Science Library, Eng 801.24)

    details page 209-11 (cropped), ex Telegraph Code, Official Automobile Blue Book (1901), from Google scan

    The code is to be used by members of this automobile club while touring, particularly with reference to the service stations associated with it. An introductory explanation of the Use of Stations includes this passage about the telegraphic code —

    While our stations carru supplies, etc., sufficient to meet the demands of ordinary touring, and for their regular customers, it should not be expected that they will be able to care for a number of automobiles without notice. We therefore suggest that in the case of club runs or even parties of five or six, they be notified in advance by letter or telegram so as to assure sufficient supplies and attendance. Our telegraph code is intended to cover such notification, and a little forethought in its use will absolutely assure sufficient attention and possibly save much valuable time. (p8)

    Not to be confused with Robert Edwin Pye, his The automobile telegraphic code, (San Francisco: Code Publishing Company, San Francisco, 1917), 834pp

  82. 1902   Codigo brazileiro universal
    Codigo Telegraphico, especialmente organisido o uso de bancos, commericantes, companhias de navegação e de seguro, corretores, etc.

    H. L. Wright
    Rio de Janeiro, Companhia typographica do Brazil, 1902.
    xiii, 638 p.4to.

    HathiTrust Digital Library scan of NYPL copy

    General code, emphasizing trade, shipping, banking (see table of ship classifications, below right). Index at pp xi-xii. Phrases in Portuguese pp 1-416 (blanks starting at 399), followed by tables (pp 417-542 and Tabellas em branco (blank, pp 543-638).


    pages 1 and 433, Codigo brazileiro universal (1902)

    Codewords look like Berne vocabulary, and the book itself has something of the flavor of the ABC Telegraphic Code (Fifth Edition). All (phrases and table cells) numbered. (N.B.: None of the scans shown here accurately indicate relationship of textblock to page size, or even to facing textblock where shown in spreads.)


    last two pages of phrases (before blanks), ex Codigo brazileiro universal (1902)


    blank tables pp 542-43, Codigo brazileiro universal (1902)

  83. 1902   The Westinghouse Code

    Westinghouse Electric & Mfg. Co., 1902
    original at Harvard University : KE 4561

    Index v-xii; Instructions for Using the Westinghouse Code xiii-xiv; Code Condenser xv-xvi; Cable Addresses xvii-xviii; General Phrases 1-432; Index of Machinery and Apparatus 433 — specs presented in tables 435-495

    00002KabakosAbandon for the present
    00003KabasdahAbandon the whole thing
    00004KabasjesAbandoned on account of

    Codewords begin with the letters K through W exclusively. Hence, as is (confusedly) explained in the introduction, the code may be used in conjunction with Lieber’s (code and appendix), whose code words begin with the letters A through E.

    Users are invited to send phrases in frequent use, not found in this code to the Westinghouse Companies’ [sic] Publishing Department, for inclusion in printed slips of additional phrases to be attached to page margins.

  84. 1902   The International Cable Code (Third Edition)

    James Gopsill’s Sons, Publishers, Philadelphia

    University of Chicago copy, poor scan (missing some material in early pages, and evidently duplicating pages as well).

    The book is wider than tall, and much of it in tabular format. It is designed for provisions, grain (e.g., lard, pork, bacon, meats, cotton, wheat, corn, petroleum), and divided into three main sections (my assessment): (1) 22 pages devoted to rules and regulations about telegraphy and commodities trade in various markets (and languages); (2) the telegraphic code, with codewords and phrases or (conventional) tabular message molecules (pp 34-123, although spare codewords are found throughout); and (3) largely blank tables (pp 124-276), in various configurations. There is no index or table of contents.

    Headings are as follows: Quotations (34-41); Numbers (42); Packages (43); Dates (44-45); Shipments (tabular, 46-51); Orders and Offers (52-53); About Buying (54-56); About Selling (56-58); About Cables (59-60); Consignments (61)


    p62, cropped The International Cable Code (1902)

    Market Advices (62-68, including petroleum markets at p65); Insurance (69-70); Freights and Charters (70-74); Steamers (75-81); Weather and Crops (82); Receipts and Shipments (83); (sentence) Fragments (84-90); Articles (91-108); Qualities (109-111); Brands (111-114); Drafts and Credits (114-116); List of Bankers (117-123, some tabular form for draw 3 and 30 days’ sight); List of Buyers (124-144, various blank tabular formats); blank tables (offer / order executed) 145-253; Quotations / market upwards (254-255); Quotations / market downwards (256-257); Seller’s Option (258-269); various other tables (as many as 14 columns, but other configurations too), 270-176.

  85. 1903   Appleby’s Copyright Code for Correspondence by Telegram

    pp i-iv of
    Appleby’s Illustrated Handbook of Machinery. Section V. Steam and Electric Plant &c., &c.. London and New York, 1903
    original at University of Wisconsin, Madison

    Codes used : A B C, Mooreing’s [sic], The A1, and Appleby’s Code.

    Each of the volumes has its respective code name :
    Section I     Admugitum
    Section II     Adnatobat
    Section III     Adociria
    Section IV     Adoliridas
    Section V     Adumbrato
    Section VI, Part A     Adonteremo
    Section VI, Part B     Adopterus

  86. 1903   The Billionaire Phrase Code
    containing Flexible Phrases; Numerals, Decimals and Dimensions; Qualities and Measurements; Fractions and Dimensions; Dollars; Cents; Foreign Currencies; Shillings and Pence; Percent; Days and Hours; Calendar and Dates; Blank Tables

    Published by The Business Code Co. New York, and E. & F. N. Spon Ltd., 57 Haymarket, S.W., London
    original at Harvard : KE 5922

    No phrases other than contained in flexible tables; similar structure and arrangement, even typographical detailing, to the Master Telegraph Code (1909), the Miners’ & Smelters’ Telegraph Code (same year), Brentano’s (1909), etc. Flexible tables generate ciphers of 10 letters, ciphers beginning from letters U through Y. Ciphers must be taken from each of the used columns consecutively: the first two (or three, if one assembles ciphers in that way) columns provide pronouns, adverbs, modals, etc.; the Fourth Column pp9-39 contains the topics. All contained in 56 pages total.

  87. 1903   Telegraphic Code for bonds

    pp 102-109 of Government Bonds, The First National City Bank of New York, 1903
    original at Harvard : Econ 5588.1

    All codewords start with L, e.g.,
    Labadist / 1/16
    Lazaroni / Bid and offered prices for coupon 5’s of 1904 to-day are ——
    Lemming / Your telegram came too late for execution to-day.

  88. 1904   The tourist’s pocket-book
    containing useful words and simple phrases in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Greek, Hindustani, Arabic, Turkish, Russian, Latin and Hungarian. and Hungarian. Medical and surgical hints; cypher code for telegrams and post cards; blank forms of washing lists; together with much practical information calculated to facilitate the sayings and doings of British and American travellers.

    George F. Chambers. Seventh Edition. London: Hugh Rees Limited : 124 Pall Mall, S.W.
    original at University of California

    ex libris C. K. Ogden.

    The cypher telegraph code is not well suited to telegrams, subject as they were to mutilations : aa ab ac ad ae > zx zy zz, followed by aaa aab aac > bci bck bcl (f is not used), and one letter each for numerals, some fractions, and to pluralize a word. The words are arranged alphabetically : a about above accept account act acted action add > yesterday yet you young your, followed by the numerals.

    The following example will illustrate the use of this cypher Code:—
    Have lost my portmanteau, omnibus man left it at hotel, am forced to sleep here to-night, hope to be with you to-morrow by 10.15 train. Alice is better, but her cold is still bad. My house let, got very good rent, 50l. for 2 months.

    Note the C. K. Ogden provenance. Devisor of BASIC (for British American Scientific International Commercial English, Ogden might well have drawn instruction from this and other polyglot phrase books. Above all, he might have derived some ideas from the reduction of vocabulary to a bare minimum within respective topical groupings. Here are the categories for this polyglot phrase dictionary :

    cardinal numbers. ordinal numbers. fractions. various numbers. the seasons. the months. the days of the week, etc. articles of food and drink. short sentences. railway. steamboat. at an hotel. post office; telegraph office. travelling by road. illness. in a shop. useful words of various kinds. washing lists.

    Ogden’s panoptical reduction of expressions down to the 850 words in Basic English parallels — if it does not owe something to — the analytical and synthetic work that underlies the telegraphic codes in their selection and topical arrangements of phrase matter and which, in some instances, received extended explanation — in one case something like a theory of language — in prefatory sections.

    The Ogden papers are held in Special Collections, Young Research Library, UCLA. The finding aid is available at content.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/kt7p3021p9/. Acquisition of the Ogden collection is described in Lawrence Clark Powell his Books in My Baggage: Adventures in Reading and Collecting (Cleveland and New York, 1960): 130-136. The collection totalled 403 packing cases, some 80,000 volumes, including hundreds of manuscripts. The material was dispersed (divided, sometimes by lot) amongst the various UC libraries. No codes are contained in the Ogden archive, I was told some years ago.

    An essay relating the Ogden’s BASIC Panoptic Conjugation and eliminator with the arrangements of some telegraphic code dictionaries is under way.

  89. 1904   Special Cable Code for the Use of Delegates (Curling Tour)
    pp 51-52, The Rev. John Kerr, Curling in Canada and the United States: A record of the tour of the Scottish team, 1902-3, and of the game in the dominion and the republic (Edinburgh and Toronto, 1904)

    original at NYPL


    Special Cable Code for the Use of Delegates (1904)

  90. 1905   Omnibus: télégraphique français de poche à l’usage

    Paris: Boyveau et Chevillet, 1905
    xiv, 1 l., 174p, 16 mo
    at NYPL, this HathiTrust Digital Library scan

    phrases, some tables


    two pages (not spread), ex Omnibus: télégraphique français de poche à l’usage (1905)

  91. 1905   Lieber’s Bankers and Stockbrokers’ Code and Merchants’ and Shippers’ Blank Tables
    This Code can be used in connection with Lieber’s Standard Code without any possible conflict.

    B. Franklin Lieber and Charles J. Dawson
    New York (2 and 4 Stone Street) and London (97 Queen Victoria Street), Lieber Code Company, 1905.

    6 p. l., 10-487 p.20 cm.
    This HathiTrust Digital Library scan of NYPL copy (HE7677.B2 L7), also available via Google Books here.

    Tables, many for stocks, and set up in root and terminal pairs (facing pages). This copy missing many pages: perhaps it is a prospectus of some sort, or published in truncated form in U.S. to establish copyright priority.


    Lieber’s Bankers and Stockbrokers’ Code and Merchants’ and Shippers’ Blank Tables (1905)

    from the Preface — In addition to its simplicity and economy, attention is called to its great elasticity. Owing to it tabular arangement throughout and to the large number of Blank Tables, it wil be found a matter of great ease for users to vary, or add to the Tables as here printed in order to meet their own special needs—a point hitherto overlooked or insufficienty provided by amost all Code compilers. Thus, should the Tables for Australian Mines (pages 180 to 217) not be required with any particular correspondent, it is a simple matter to substitute other headings.


    pp 92-93 ex Lieber’s Bankers and Stockbrokers’ Code and Merchants’ and Shippers’ Blank Tables (1905)

    Scanned NYPL copy lacks pages, and shows pages out of sequence. The pages shown below are as printed on facing pages, or at least as shown in scan.


    pages 90, 83 (taken from spread, in scanned copy) Lieber’s Bankers and Stockbrokers’ Code and Merchants’ and Shippers’ Blank Tables (1905)

  92. 1905   Telegraph Cipher Code
    pp 4-5, Illustrated Catalogue of Pumps and Hydraulic Machinery (Number 22), The Deming Company
    Salem, Ohio
    NYPL copy, digitized April 27, 2011.

    A great part of the articles listed in this catalogue are given Cipher words or names by which they may be ordered by telegraph. Deming also uses the ABC 4th Edition and the Western Union Telegraphic Code.

    Many — even most? — industrial catalogues of this period incorporate telegraphic codes throughout.

  93. 1906   Travellers’ Telegraphic Code, in The Complete Pocket-Guide to Europe.

    edited by Edmund C. Stedman and Thomas L. Stedman. New York: William R. Jenkins / London: Baillièe, Tindall & Cox, 1906

    Harvard copy KC11692

    travel, social. Dictionary English codewords; ample blank cyphers.

  94. 1907   Standard Lumber Reference Book and Code
    A Complete Compendium of the Rules of Classification and Inspection of Lumber, as adopted and in use by the principal Lumber Associations and Railroad Companies in the United States, together with a comprehensive Telegraphic Cypher Code and other information of interest and value to the Lumber Trade

    First Edition; Sold Exclusively by Southern States Publishing Co.; 65-71 Ivy Street, Atlanta Ga.
    Copyright, 1907, by The Franklin-Turner Co., and Benj. F. Ulmer

    original NYPL : HD9754.S7
    also via HathiTrust Digital Library, here.

    Rules, classifications, specifications pp 9-204, followed by 1 page (unnumbered, but Google p209) a Private Cypher Code of Lunkenheimer Co., Cincinnati, Ohio (valves, gauges, whistles, injectors, ejectors, lubricators, grease cups, oil cups) followed by the code proper, Ulmer’s Yellow Pine Code separate pagination pp 1-44 (Google p211), beginning with General Instructions.

    The code is artificial English, some stem and terminal, some tables :
    Ulmer’s car number; Board measure contents; Dollars and cents; Specific lengths in feet and inches; Specific dimensions, thickness by feet, in even inches (all tabular); Thicknesses and widths in inches and fractional inches; Time of delivery in weeks and months; Time table by hours, days and months; Questions; Instructions, miscellaneous phrases, etc.; and Railroad companies (pp43-44).

    Nice code/phrase pairings —
    FrolicCut all you can
    LanternIf we can
    LatinIf we cannot
    LingerIn addition to
    LiquidIn box cars
    LizardIn flat cars
    MinisterLet us have
    MiserLet us know
    MissionLet us know when
    MisterLet us know where
    MonkeyLoad last
    MonstrousLoad next
    MottoMake a price
    MumbleMay be cut in multiples

  95. 1907   Postal Code (Telegraph-Cable)
    Adapted to the requirements of merchants, bankers, brokers, professional men, miners and operators in mines, stock operators, railroad and transportation companies, real estate dealers, shippers and shipping men, travelers, tourists, farmers, horticulturalists, viticulturalists, etc., etc.

    by Frank Shay and Richard V Day; San Francisco: Freygang Publishing Co., 1907
    original at Columbia University

    Official vocabulary, or (for landline only) five figures. Totals 862 pages; 93,480 numbered entries (including blanks), phrases (and names, numbers, prices, etc.) but no analytical tables. An expansion from Shay’s 1888 (and 1899 reprint) Cipher Book published by Rand McNally.

    Title page bears two seals, for the Commercial Pacific Cable Company and The Commercial Cable Company, respectively, containing maps showing their Pacific and Atlantic cable routes.

    Good phraseology.

  96. 1909   Bentley’s complete phrase code
    (nearly 1000 Million Combinations)

    1909 reprint of first (1906) edition
    original Toronto

    Title page stamped C. Bensinger Co., Inc. Code-Book Supply Dept. / 15 Whitehall St. New York City

    Does not include 2-letter difference claim. One Million Cyphers appear at end of volume (compare with Bensinger edition described below. The following (odd, and even misleading) explanation faces first page of code : Bentley’s Million Cyphers for the transmission of Numbered Sentences from Public or Private Codes in one word are to be found at the end of this Volume with full directions, showing that they can be indiscriminately mixed with Cyphers from this Phrase Code.

    See fuller discussion in description of the 1921 Bensinger reprint.

  97. 1909   Brentano’s Telegraph and Cable Code

    New York, Brentano’s; copyright by The Business Code Company. 1909.
    original Harvard

    5-letter code. Flexible Phrase Tables pp 1-10 (ten tables in all, e.g., Table No. 9 affirmative and questions) ; General Phrases 11-285; Tables 287-313 (some of these 3+2 or 4+1 flexible tables, say, for calendar; Supplement 314-320 (blanks, followed by Stocks 321-328)

  98. 1910   Jiao tong bi xi 交通必携
    Chinese character code, pp126-37 (back to front), in this Communications Handbook
    corporate author : Shang wu yin shu guan
    original Michigan, HE 7678 .S37 C5

    I should confess that for the fourth character of the title, I’ve used a Japanese version (for now).


    ex Jiao tong bi xi (1910), first page of telegraphic code.

    Shown above is the first page of the character code. First character is 0001, followed down the first column by 0002, 0003, 0004, etc.; moving from left to right, second column: 0011, 0012, 0013 and so on. The code ends at page 37, with character number 9651.

    Radicals appear in the outer margins. Shown below are the second and third pages of the code.


    ex Jiao tong bi xi (1910), pages 125-24 (rearranged for this presentation), being the second and third pages of the character code.

    This particular copy bears the owner’s signature at p161 : Yamada Junzaburo, Shanghai; there is also a handwritten kana code at p159, shown below.


    handwritten kana (Japanese) code at p159, Jiao tong bi xi (1910). All of these images from the Google Book scan of Michigan’s copy, via Hathitrust.

    See Jim Reeds’s discussion of Chinese Telegraph Codes here.

  99. 1911   Private Telegraphic Code
    For Land Line Telegrams between Points in the United States, Canada and Mexico used by the United States Steel Corporation and its Subsidiary Companies (1911)
    original NYPL

    Sections I Structural Shapes, Plates, etc. 1-18; II Bars, Small Shapes, Hoops, etc, 19-64; III Axles, Miscellaneous Forgings and Wheels, 65-72; IV Semi-Finished Steel, etc, 73-77; V Steel Rails and Accessories, 79-111; VI Frogs, Switches and Special Track Work, 113-130; VII Rail Bonds, 131 to 145; VIII Bridges and Structural Steel Work of Buildings, 147-202; IX Sheet and Tin Mill Products, 203-243; X Tubular Products, 245-311; XI Pipe Fittings, Valves, Cocks, etc, 313-422; XII Wire Products, 423-568; XIII Horse and Mule Shoes and Calks, 569-576; XIV Coal, Coke and Pig Iron, 577-584; XV Shipment, Freight and Transportation, 585-680; XVI General [phrase] Section , 681-948; Index, to Products, Materials and Erection Plant, 949-981

    5L throughout, following the two-letter difference rule, and, it is claimed in Preface, no code word can be converted into any other in this code or its supplements, if two consecutive letters are reversed. Each of the first 15 sections is mostly tables, supplemented by phrases pertinent to those sections’s respective topic.

  100. 1911   Everybody’s Pocket Code
    Simplicity, Economy, Secrecy in Cabling and Telegraphing. Everybody’s Pocket Code By W. M. Saunders, for Merchants, Bankers, Brokers, and all Business Houses and especially adapted for the use of Railway and Steamship Passengers, Travellers, Tourists and to the needs of all Private Individuals who may require to Telegraph or Cable; Providing no less than 400 Million Phrases, for One Complete Cipher Word each.
    First Edition.
    London: Compiled and Published by Wm. Clowes & Sons, Ltd.

    [3], iv–xxiv; 1-551
    4 1/4w by 5 3/8 high

    This a Duke University scan of a copy from a private collection.

    The code consists of phrases and some tables, utilizing 5L half words.


    pp 80-81, Everybody’s Pocket Code (1911), private collection

    Everybody’s Pocket Code begins with four sections devoted to use and/or communities of practice : (1) Travelling (1-49); (2) Hotel (51-91); (3) Shipping and Forwarding (93-126); and (4) Banking and Financial (129-200). These are followed by General 205-508; Tables 511-546 (Dates, Measurements, Numerals and Fractions, Percentages, Price (Sterling), Price (Decimal Currency), Time of Day, Weights (Ozs., Lbs., Cwts., Tons); and an Index to Advertisers (547-548). Advertising is located in front and back pages, and within the first four sections, a appropriate. Firm names are included in tables of, for example, cable addresses of steamship companies and banks.


    pp 290-291, Everybody’s Pocket Code (1911), private collection

    The preface devotes several paragraphs to the use of so-called Half Code Words of five letters each, these enabling two artificial 5L words to be combined to fall within the 10L limitation on artificial code words. The General Section of the code provides numerous auxiliaries, that in combination with a further half-word for a principal verb, will provide every variety of Person, Number, Mood, and Tense.

    W. M. Saunders
    Saunders would later compile The motor trade telegram code, allowing all matters of technical, commercial and general information to be expressed practically verbatim in code language with the maximum of economy and simplicity . That code was published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, Ltd. (London, 1921); LC shows another copy — New York, D. Van Nostrand company, c1921). It is a 5-L (halfword) code, whose 558 pages consist of three parts: (1) phrases (punctuated by some in-line tables); (2) tables (dates, decimals, horse-power, references to letters and telegrams, numerals and fractions, quantities, sterling, time, weights); and (3) indicators to catalogues with numbered entries; and references to invoices. LC HE7677.A8S3.


    pp 220-221 (cropped), showing phrases and inline tables, W. H. Saunders, compiler, The Motor Trade Telegram Code (1921), from photocopy of LC copy

    Saunders was W(illiam) M(oore) Saunders, 1873-19?.

  101. 1911   General information cable code / Llave telegrafica para informes generales
    pages 9-12 in The shipping clerks’, correspondents’ and travellers’ handbook of Spanish invoicing, insurance, book-keeping, legal and technical terms, with Spanish powers of attorney, cable inquiry code
    by Frank Thomas. Second Impression. London & Glasgow, 1911

    64 pages.

    Internet Archive, U.C. Berkeley copy


    detail, p11, The shipping clerks’, correspondents’ and travellers’ handbook of Spanish invoicing (1911)

    Open Library indicates a second edition, revised, in 1921 (still 64 pages).

  102. 1912   The Emigre (P.C.) Cable Code
    For use in connexion with Privy Council Appeals, &c.

    Printed for private circulation only. Folkestone, 1912
    Internet Archive; original at University of Toronto

    code pages 5-89
    Latinate codewords (abactas, abalienans, abavos, abdebant, abderem, abdetis > crevimus, crevisti, crevit.
    phrases only (no tables), notable typographic treatment of phrase keywords (bold, sans serif).

    ex preface —

    The ordinary telegraphic Codes are designed mainly for commercial purposes, and we have repeatedly, in communicating with clients in regard to Privy Council appeals and other legal matters, elt the want of a code containing legal phrases. For the convenience of our correspondents and ourselves... An amateur work is likely to be very imperfect, and we shall be grateful to any correspondents who may assist us with suggestions for insertion in a second edition.

  103. 1912   Hartfield’s New Wall street (Newallst) Code.
    Contains 156,563 cypher words numbered from 00000 to 156562. Also root and terminals forming millions of artificial words, conforming to the telegraphic regulations. (See preface.) Specially aranged for general banking in cable and telegraphic transfers; collections; commercial credits; discounts; exchange; letters of credit; loans; and financial transactions in bonds and stocks including arbitrage tables. Compiled by John W. Hartfield. 1912

    Press / Hartfield telegraphic code publishing co., New York.

    2 p.l., iii [1], xvi, 2525 p. 22 cm x 15 cm. (from Reeds; I have not examined physical copy of this book).
    University of Chicago copy, poor scan (Digitized Feb 28, 2012)
    HE7677.B2 H317.

    Five and six figures, also codewords, roots and terminals. Preceding title page is a condenser, being Hartfield’s 12-Figure Code / Allowing the transmission of 2 numbers, not exceeding 229,999 each, in one pronounceable Ten-letter word, inclusive of a check. The scan does not capture all of the condenser, which begins here. Codewords appear to be official (Berne) vocabulary, or pronounceable in one of the eight European languages. Quite a bit of the preface is devoted to such regulations, suggesting uneasiness and/or tentativeness about the acceptableness of codewords. (Mention is made of the 5L count by United States carriers, for instance.) Roots and terminals are each 5L; presumably, the figure code and condenser could be depended upon to generate acceptable codewords.


    Roots and terminals, here pages 30 and 50 to be used in conjunction, Hartfield’s New Wall street (Newallst) Code (1912); image cropped, rearranged (from poor scan).

    An index to Roots and Terminals (here) precedes the index proper.

    Phrases extend through 106408 Zitende / Yourselves and &mdash, followed by several pages of spare figure/codewords ending at page 1815 with 106799 Zoologisch / In future for this security use the code word —.

    The main phrase vocabulary is punctuated by conventional tables, e.g., If at pp758-65, Offers at pp1106-07, Options – commodity orders and reports at pp1146-47, That – This at pp1678-81 and Think pp1686-95 (which is followed by six additional pages — non-tabular ‐ of think phrases).


    pages 756-57, Hartfield’s New Wall street (Newallst) Code (1912); cropped, rearranged (from poor scan).

    The if phrases on page 757 are followed by eight pages of if tables.

    The remainder of the book (some 710) is in the following sections:
    securities (and names), commencing with at p1818 with railroad bonds (through p1912, followed by several pages of spare figure/codewords),
    miscellaneous bonds (p1920 through p2061, followed by spares),
    foreign railroads – stocks and bonds (p2070 through p2087, followed by spares),
    government securities (p2092 through p2126, followed by spares),
    railroad stocks (p2131 through p2142, followed by spares),
    miscellaneous stocks (p2148 through p2206, followed by spares — several of which are taken on p2207 and following pages),
    exchanges – stock, etc., (p2214 only, followed by spares),
    companies (p2216 through p2222, followed by spares),
    officials (p2224 through p2238, followed by spares),
    names – banks with branches (p2240 through p2246, followed by spares),
    names (banks etc., arranged by city, p2248 through p2428, followed by spares),
    single words (p2437 through p2522), and
    combinations for sending names (p2523 through p2525).

    This 1912 edition contains all of the data in but could not be used in conjunction with its (1905) predecessor, Hartfield’s Wall street code. Contains about 467,000 cypher words, all conforming to the telegraphic convention regulations. New York: Hartfield telegraphic code publishing co. [c1905] (ix, 685p). The reason being its much larger scale. The earlier code also had root-and-terminal sections, and names of bonds, etc.

  104. 1913   Bauers code; der neue deutsche telegramm-schlüssel

    Leipzig, C. E. Poeschel, 1913
    Google scan of University of Minnesota copy, HE7678.B3

    Vorwort p iii; instructions for use, v-vi; index (Inhaltsverzeichnis) pp vi-xxi, and code pp 1-1040. All viewable via Hathi Trust, and PDFs of individual pages (but not entirety) available for download to guests.


    detail, page 1, Bauers code; der neue deutsche telegramm-schlüssel (1913); from my photocopy of LC copy.

    All 8L codewords with figures: 00001 abababal / Abändern through 177913 osefizit / blank. Some tables. This is a personal favorite code, for its dadaistic codewords, and also for phrase ranges that are unusual in such a code, e.g., 89285 hekuzula / Philosophisch, etc.

  105. 1913   The Adams Cable Codex, Tenth Edition.

    Boston: The Financial Publishing Company, 1913
    original at University of Michigan : HE7673.A22 1913

  106. 1913   Telegraph and Cable Code., pages 49-53 in
    Catalogue No. 35, The W. S. Tyler Company, Maufacturers of Ton-Cap Screens made from iron, steel, brass, copper and phosphor bronze for all uses: also makers of Tyler double crimped cloth and mining screens. General Offices and Works St. Clair Ave N.E., from 34th to 38th Strs., Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.A., 1913
    original at University of Michigan : TS 273.T98

    There is a code word shown for each number of Ton-Cap screen in the following tables, also code words for specifying the number of pieces, dimensions of each piece, also whether brass, steel, copper, bronze or phosphor bronze is required. If no metal is mentioned, steel will be furnished. ¶ Each code word contains five letters...

    Ton-Cap is short for tonnage capacity : increased throughput tafforded by the company’s superior screen design (oblong, rather than round hole screen producing the same sizing (p 16). The catalogue itself is nicely designed and illustrated.

  107. 1913   The Imperial Combination Code Rubber Edition.
    for mining, company promoting, financial and stock exchange purposes.
    Compiled by Edward Barron Broomhall, author of Broomhall’s Comprehensive Cipher Code, The Standard Shipping Code, The Arbitrage Code and of eighty-nine distinct private telegraphic codes constructed for the principal British and foreign banks, companies and firms.

    London: E. B. Broomhall, 30, Walbrook, London, E.G.4, England

    (4), 1-241, (1), 1-28
    These pages include a (loose?) certification of the code by E. W. Farnall of the General Post Office, London, stating that the code on the whole is in conformity with regulations (regarding pronounceability?); the second run of pages (1-28) lists ciphers by terminational order, for use in determining what code word may have been meant, in the event of mutilation.

    This volume is part of the DULTC Collection, scanned by Duke University from a copy in a private collection.

    Note on (unnumbered page vi) reads (in red) : Pages 131 to 178, both inclusive, in this Edition differ from the same pages in the Imperial Combination Code. The preface to the Rubber Edition explains that a number of mining phrases were eliminated to make way for phrases particularly applicable to rubber. The Rubber Section runs from page 160 through 172; it includes, in addition to rubber, some phrases about various articles of produce cultivated with Rubber, like cinchona, cocoa, cocoanuts, coffee, pepper, sago, tapioca, tea, etc.


    p169, The Imperial Combination Code, Rubber Edition (1913)

    Mainly phrases (excepting tabular presentation for Dates, Deliveries, Shipments, &c. pp 240-241.). Provides plenty of auxiliary phrases. broomhall_combination_rubber_genpreface_700w935h.jpg

    (general) preface, The Imperial Combination Code, Rubber Edition (1913)

    By Combination is meant the provision of auxiliary verbs that, in combination with main verbs, allows the verbatim transmission of speeches and the like; ordinarily, it is only an idea that is required to be transmitted, not a number of unnecessary words (to borrow expressions from the general preface).

    p123, showing full portmanteau (multi-faceted) expressions under the head Negotiations, The Imperial Combination Code, Rubber Edition (1913)

    The page shown above shows both auxiliary-like phrases involving need, and phrases under the topic Negotiations involving their conventional elaborations.

    A genealogical website on the Broomhall family yields this, in addition to information about marriages and children : EDWARD BARRON BROOMHALL... was born 8 January 1848, in Madras, India; d, 2 October 1929, at Bromley in Kent, England.

  108. 1914   The Private Code and Post-Card Cypher
    A Telegraph and Post-Card Code-Book for Family Use

    Compiled by Constance and Burges Johnson. New York and London: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, The Knickerbocker Press, 1914

    Quite amusing, first encountered at BL.

    dedicated to THEODORE N. VAIL / whose kindly hospitality is requited by the publication of this method of beating his company

    The book is prefaced by an Apology

    No literary critic has ever paid sufficient attention to the effect of the ten-word telegram upon American style. Yet undoubtedly the old problem of how to say what must be said within a ten-word limit has had a powerful effect upon prevailing terseness of expression. The fact that eleven words would cost but a cent or two more has made little difference. Ten words it must be. And if the message has used but four words, then six more must be found, at whatever cost of mental effort. A generation ago the Peterkins faced that very problem, and when their four words had been written, added — The house is not on fire.

    This code will aid the perplexed or homesick absent one to put many essential messages into the ten-word announcement of his safe arrival; and it will enable the abandoned one, after she has put her necessary inquiry into eight words, to find two more that will fill out the allowance most delightfully.

    In addition to the use of this code in telegrams, its compilers suggest that the picture post-card, containing as it does an irritatingly small space for messages as well as an exposed one, is much in need of a private cypher.

    It is proper to add that the telegraph companies do not encourgae the use of a code in connection with night letters and day letters; but the fifty-word allowance in those forms of telegram makes a code unnecessary.

    The compilers admit that there are other codes in existence more complete than this in many particulars. For that very reason there is no attempt here to enter the field of business messages. In other ways, however, they maintain that this code has no parallel.

    C. and B.J.
    Port Washington, N.Y.

    Bulletins en route
    Intimate Messages —

    Things Needed or Forgotten
    Arrival at Destination
    Letters and Telegrams
    Home News
    Sickness and Health
    Money Matters
    Commissions and Messages to Others
    The Return
    Concerning Food
    Model Letters between Husbands and Wives
    The Telegram Game

  109. 1918   The Colorado Code
    General Headquarters, American Expeditionary Forces
    47pp, 20cm

    Digitizing sponsor : Duke University Libraries
    Book contributor : Private Collection

    also on title page : Secret / Must not fall into hands of enemy. / No. 2 / Memorize this group: DAM---Code Lost.
    Reverse of title states : This book has been issued / To — / for official use under his direction only. / By command of General Pershing: / James W. McAndrew, Chief of Staff. / Official: Robert C. Davis, Adjutant General.

    Front matter and folios are typeset, code vocabularies are completely typewritten.

    Instructions on unnumbered pp1-2; example dated 1918, suggesting publication of code also
    Page 3 provides codes for figures 1-100, three each for figures 0-24, two each for figures 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 75, 80, 90; and four for 100. This is followed on page 4 by several special figures, e.g., 155 (presumable artillery caliber), and the phrase and word vocabulary itself (some entries given several 3L ciphers). The coding vocabulary continues (with nulls and some blanks) through page 22; followed by Decoding, with 3L ciphers in alphabetical order.

    pages 12, 25, both showing entry for CFM / Lachrymatory, ex The Colorado Code (1918), from Duke University scan of copy in private collection.

  110. 1920   The Nautical Telegraph Code and Postal Guide
    For Officers of the M.M. and for All persons travelling abroad.

    Fourth edition, 1920

    The front cover illustrated at this website omits name of author; a volume with same title (and phrase matter) was authored by Captain D. H. Bernard and published by James Brown & Son, Glasgow,

    A full transcription by Eveline Houweling (to whom thanks for this labor of love). See her sitemap for some additional telegraph material.

  111. 1921   Radiographic weather code for vessel weather observers
    U.S. Department of Agriculture, Weather Bureau

    HathiTrust Digital Library scan of NYPL copy (QC872 .U62 1921)
    31 p. incl. tables.30 cm.

    code for latitude and longitude 10-13 (one word for both)
    code for pressure and temperature 14-23 (one word for both)
    code for direction and force of wind and state of weather 24-25 (one word for all)
    code for rise or fall of barometer in two hours previous to observation 26
    code for amount, kind, and direction of clouds 26-27 (one word for all)
    time words 28
    followed by (non code) tables (corrections, equivalents, etc.)

    An illustration message is shown below. The same message appears in the 1925 edition of this code (private collection); the codewords Royer, Beatrice and Guide do not appear in this book.


    detail page 8, Radiographic weather code for vessel weather observers (1921)

  112. 1921   Bensinger’s Special Edition of Complete Phrase Code
    — (nearly 1000 Million Combinations) (with a Difference of at Least 2 Letters in Each Code-word)

    1921 Reprint of First Edition
    original NYPL

    Nowhere save for a librarian’s penciled mark does E. L. Bentley’s name appear in this version of his code. This is not a stereoplate reprint of first edition; pagination is different; 5-letter codewords are presented all caps (which is nice).

    It also includes at pp242-252 One Million Cyphers (eight letters each with a 2-letter difference), for transmitting any figures within the following range: 0/9, 00/99, 000/999, 0000/9999, 00000/99999, 000000/999999.

    This feature, which drops out in (some?) later printings of Bentley — presumably with the nigh universal adoption of 5L codes — enables users to generate messages from both vocabulary and figure codes. The numbers standing against the sentences in such Codes are converted into these Cyphers instead of using the Code words in those Codes, thus preventing any possibility of confusion arising from mixing such sentences with Bentley’s Complete Phrase Code. A 1st series provides cyphers abev through zuof, for figures 0-999; these half ciphers are to be combined to form 8L ciphers; a 2nd series runs zuker through zyzwo (0-210), with higher numbers to be taken from 122-25); But ciphers from the two series are not to be combined. The second series cyphers are specifically intended to signify figures from separate figure codes, and work with together the 5L ciphers from the rest of the Phrase Code.

    Private supplement WUVNE-ZIZWO runs pp 253-301, followed by Telegraph Cyphers in Terminational Order, for checking errors occurring in transmission of messages, starting at page 307 (after some preliminary matter) and running for 40 pages (separate pagination).

  113. 1921   The Missions Code
    Compiled and published by authority of the Foreign Missions Conference of North America, for use by foreign mission boards and their correspondents
    New York: Foreign Missions Conference of North America, 1921
    copyright 1915

    xviii, 724, [2] p.24 cm.
    HathiTrust Digital Library, Columbia University copy
    Contents appear to be same as (my) 1930 printing. The specimen pages shown below are typical; note cross-referencing (in boldface).

    missions_code_1921_p268-69_720w540h.jpgpp268-69, The Missions Code (1921)

  114. 1930   International radio weather code for use on United States selected ships

    W.B. no. 1005, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Weather Bureau
    archive.org, (Boston Library Consortium Member Libraries), book from Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI).

    This is an early (earliest?) instance of five-figure code groups in meteorological codes. It replaces word codes, and would enventually become the norm. Pages 2 and 3 explain the arrangements and coding of Universal Data (covered by the first four 5F groups), and Supplemental Data (groups 5 through 7). As suggested in the example below (from page 4), one turns to tables, in successive order, for numeric codes; exceptions include latitude and longitude, which yield their own figures (with aid of some means for rendering minutes into 0-9). The codegroups, e.g., PQLLL and 111GG, are mnemonic but also signify positions to be filled by a figure 0-9.


    detail, page 4, International radio weather code for use on United States selected ships (1930)

  115. ca 1957   A.N.A.R.E. Code (not working as of 18 March 2018)
    A.N.A.R.E. Code (works as of 18 March 2018) of the Australian National Antarctic Research Expeditions, here archived by the NSW Branch of the ANARE Club. This was used for private messages over radio-telegraphic link to Australia, perhaps commencing around 1957. The code was also known as WYSSA, for a reason that will become apparent from these few examples —

    WUVNEPenguins have begun to arrive on the Island
    WYSSAAll my (our) love darling
    YIHMOI have grown a beard but think I’ll shave it off before I get back to Australia
    YIKLAThis is the life
    YIVUCDays are short in the antarctic at present, the sun appering above the horizon for no more than three hours
    YITIXTime seems to be only thing we're short of
    YITOZVery busy preparing gear for spring work including training dogs
    YITUBI am not sure whether men training dogs or dogs training men
    YOHNAMy message is contained in following quotation
    YOHORSee Oxford dictionary of quotations
    YOHPESee Oxford dictionary quotations indexed as beginning
    YOHROSee Shakespeare play: initials, act, scene, line follow
    YOHTYSee Bible quotation: abbreviated name of book with chapter and verse follow
    YOHUSHave recently been reading these books
    YOIKSThinking of you especially when reading following book and chapter (code word followed by name of book and number of chapter)
    YOILTOur Position is Latitude...deg...mins Longitude...deg...mins. (code word followed by one four figure group for degrees and minutes of latitude; then one five figure group — commencing with 0 if necessary — for longitude).

    An account of the use of the ANARE Code is included in a fascinating interview with Doug Twigg, an ANARE Radio Supervisor who spent several winters and summers in Antactica between 1956 and 1992. The whole (recorded on 23 February 1996) can be found here — now (April 2016) here — in a section entitled Communications 1911-1985, within the website of the Australian Antarctic Division. I include the relevant passage from that interview below (without permission, for now) to be sure it is not lost! The interviewer was Annie Rushton.

    Morse code was used before the advent of teleprinters. AAD photograph (4215-C6) And it was through using the teleprinter system that we developed the WYSSA. WYSSA is local ANARE jargon for a private telegram.
    They were called that back in the Heard Island days, before we settled Mawson in 1954. However, WYSSA’s continued to be sent by teleprinters and then by satellite.

    So did the first WYSSAs start using Morse Code?

    Yes, initially, this was the only communications that the expeditioners had then, until the radphone came along, but they still continued sending WYSSAs.

    They’d be cheaper, I guess.

    Than the radphone, yes. Each expeditioner got so many free words a month, I think it was 175 free words a month. And if you exceeded that you paid about five cents a word. This allocation was divided up, the expeditioner could use 100 of those and his next-of-kin could use 75, that is how it was supposed to have been divided up. And then there was the code book, an adaptation of Bentleigh’s (sic) Telegraphic Codes. A code word would be a substitute for commonly used phrases or sentences. It was an economic means to reduce the number of words in a telegram, both for the expeditioner and for the radio operator who had to transmit it letter-by-letter by Morse Code. You could send a lot of words, a lot of conversation, by using about 10 code words, which would result in about half a page of letter when you decoded the WYSSA. Some of the cleverer expeditioners used to doctor the code a bit, they would develop their own private meanings to the code words with their next-of-kin. They might change the meaning for a code word about elephant seals or the sea ice, but in fact they were really talking with their own private code. You got to know many of the commonly used code words without having to look them up in the code book. It was used for many years.


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