Syllabical and Steganographical Table

Syllabical and Steganographical Table (French: Tableau syllabique et stéganographique) is an eighteenth-century cryptographical work by P. R. Wouves. Published by Benjamin Franklin Bache in 1797, it provided a method for representing pairs of letters by numbers. It may have been the first chart for cryptographic purposes to have been printed in the United States.[1][2]

English version cover page, 1797
French version cover page, 1797

References edit

  1. ^ Kane, Joseph Nathan (1997). Famous First Facts: A Record of First Happenings, Discoveries and Inventions in the United States, Fifth Edition. H. W. Wilson. p. 329. ISBN 0-8242-0930-3. The first cryptography chart was P.R. Wouves's A Syllabical and Steganographical Table, a chart 27 by 19.25 inches, with a list of syllables and words in English and French intended for secret correspondence.
  2. ^ Sheldon, Rose Mary. "The Friedman Collection: An Analytical Guide, Item 265" (PDF). George C. Marshall Foundation. Retrieved August 7, 2015. William F. Friedman library collection Item 265 Wouves, P.R., A Syllabical and Steganographical Table, Philadelphia: Printed by Benjamin Franklin Bache, 1797. Photostat negative. According to William F. Friedman, an item of very great historical interest and importance. An explanatory note accompanies the item written by the book dealer i Philadelphia from whom Friedman purchased this copy. See Galland, p. 205 for explanatory details. In French and English, 1786-98: ―By means of which any sort of writings taken from either the French, English, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese or Italian languages or any languages which use the same alphabet can be converted into numerical figures. According to the extract from a letter from W.D. Witt, Book Dealer on Carlisle Street, Philadelphia, the Library of Congress does NOT have a copy of this. The New York Public Library has a copy signed by Wouves and the Philadelphia Historical Society has an unsigned copy. De Witt thought Wouves was a pseudonym for Benjamin Franklin. The publisher, Benjamin Franklin Bach was his grandson. We know Franklin made use of ciphers. P.R.=Poor Richard?[dead link]