Newsletter of the Mercurians, in the Society for the History of Technology

Volume 10 No. 2, May 1998

Mercurial Matters

Communication Technologies

A. Butrica Wins Prize

Antennas, More Generally

SHOT's 1998 Meeting

History of Cryptography

Echoes and Reflections

E. Wachtel accepts invitation to Antenna Board

Symposium on Telephone History



An Overview of Communication Analysis

Dead Media Project Expands

Essay: The Smirk of Progress

Book Review
Stage To Studio

New Media and Society

Contact us

History of Cryptography

As you have come to expect, Antenna has once again led world developments in the history of communication technologies. In the past several issues, we have featured reviews, articles, and other information about a range of technologies and related systems for encryption. These include William W. Ward's review of the National Cryptologic Museum (November 1996), Jim Reeds's discussion of early codes in telegraph transmission (April 1997), and the most recent issue's review of spread spectrum's early history. The upcoming History of Cryptography symposium in Britain shows that the world is truly following in our footsteps.

The British Society for the History of Mathematics will sponsor the symposium in Bletchley Park on Saturday 20 June 1998. Jim Reeds will present a paper on "Error detection: Mutilation Tables in Early Twentieth-Century Telegraphic Code Books." Donald Davies will talk on "Breaking Enigma with the Bombes." Whitfield Diffie will present on "Technology and Cryptography in the Twentieth Century." And Clifford Cocks will explore "The Invention of Non-Secret Encryption."

You can find further details on The British Society for the History of Mathematics web site and from J. V. Field, Dept of History of Art, Birkbeck College, 43 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PD, UK; fax 0171.631.6107, fax and voice messages 0171.736.9198; <>.