The Alberti Cipher Disk is the first example of a true "polyalphabetic" cipher device using two dissimilar alphabets. It can be postulated from Alberti's writings that this cipher device may have been created for high level secret use within the Vatican.
The Alberti Cipher Disk was invented by the famous Italian scholar Leon Battista Alberti in 1467. Alberti was an amazingly brilliant Renaissance genius whose talents covered a wide range of fields. He was a renowned architect, a dedicated linguist, a poet, a priest, a philosopher, A lawyer, an astounding mathematician, an engineer, author, astronomer, a master horseman, and a cryptographer!
Device Design: The Alberti Cipher Disk consists of two disks, the stationary outer, originally called by Alberti - the "Stabilis", and the rotating inner - which he named the "Mobilis. This Creative Crafthouse device is a faithful rendition of the original Alberti Cipher Disk design, where the Inner disk turns relative to the Outer. The Cipher is about 4 1/2" inches in Diameter. All characters are deeply laser engraved into the woods for both beauty and durability.
The disk comes with an incredibly complete set of instructions on various techniques to use the cipher. These instructions were written by Mic Healey. There are ways to use the disk easily with modest levels of security and more complex ways to use the disk such that breaking the code would be a challenge for the best of modern day cryptographers using computers. All are explained in the instruction set which should delight both novice and serious cryptographers.
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