Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Geneva Illinois: birth place of the National Security Agency

Nice time to remember Geneva's Riverbank Labs and the story of William Frederick Friedman. Note Knowledge is Power engraved on his tombstone in Arlington.

After receiving a B.S. and doing some graduate work in genetics at Cornell University, William Friedman was hired by Riverbank Laboratories, what would today be termed a "think tank," outside Chicago. There he became interested in the study of codes and ciphers, thanks to his concurrent interest in Elizebeth (sic) Smith, who was doing cryptanalytic research at Riverbank. Friedman left Riverbank to become a cryptologic officer during World War I, the beginning of a distinguished career in government service.
Cross posted at Bill Baar's West Side.

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