9/18/10 0 °F
Seeing as the 18th is my daughters birthday, we talked about whether we should go to the zoo or do something else. We settled on going to The National Cryptologic Museum at Fort Meade.
The first thing I noticed when I walked in was a miniature city with buttons you could push to light up specific houses or areas. It showed Hobo Codes that let hobos passing through know where to stop or where to avoid. This was a fun display.
The museum has an interesting collection dating very far back. I believe the earliest items they had were from the 1300's. They have things from the Civil War era, and both world wars. It was interesting to see how coded messages were sent and broken. I was also interested to see and learn the part women had played in code breaking in WWII as well as to see the display on the Indian Code Talkers.
We took a guided tour of the museum and it was interesting, but I wish we had arrived earlier as I didn't get to read as much about some of the displays as I would have liked. They are open during the week, but only the first and third Saturday of each month, and even then, they close at 2pm. But it's free and I imagine the people manning the museum are volunteers for the most part.
Here is a display of Enigma machines
I had never heard of this machine, but it was interesting, especially when they were talking about how they were upgraded. Kind of sounded like they were talking about present day computers! It's really something when you think about how different decoding/coding machines helped shorten wars.
Here is part of Colossus, which was a large code breaking computer used during WWII.
All in all, this was an interesting museum. If you go, get there early, because if you don't, you might find you run out of time like we did!