In June 2005 readers of the HHS newsletter were presented with a puzzle – a postcard from 1906 written in code. Have a go and we’ll post the responses next week.
Amongst the several hundred postcards in the Old Schoolhouse collection is an intriguing one written in code. The postcard, a view of Seven Sisters Road, Finsbury Park was written on the evening of 27 July 1906 and posted the following morning, in London, to Miss Ada Nichols of 41 Welbeck Street, Cavendish Square, W. The message was written entirely in code as follows.
13.25-15.23.14-126.96.36.199 – 1.4.1 – 20.8.5-188.8.131.52-P.P.C-6.15.18-25.15.21-1.20-W.St.-184.108.40.206.11.19-6.15.18-220.127.116.11-18.104.22.168-22.214.171.124-7.15.20-13.25-126.96.36.199.25-188.8.131.52.5.19.20-1.12.12-9.14-184.108.40.206-9-220.127.116.11-18.104.22.168-10.21.19.20-6.15.18-1-2.9.20-22.214.171.124-126.96.36.199-188.8.131.52-184.108.40.206-20.15-19.5.5-Cot-ton-220.127.116.11.7.8.20-18.104.22.168-8.5-8.1.19-7.15.20-8,9.19-22.214.171.124.13.1.14.’19-10.15.2-126.96.36.199-188.8.131.52-23.5.-1.18.5-184.108.40.206.7-20.15-W-15.14-220.127.116.11.1.25-18.104.22.168-22.214.171.124-2.5-1.19-126.96.36.199-1.19-9-3.1.14-188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206-220.127.116.11.5.19.20-18.104.22.168-22.214.171.124.20-126.96.36.199-15.14.5-13.21.38-188.8.131.52-&-184.108.40.206-15.6-220.127.116.11.5.19-6.15.18-13.25-15.23.14-18.104.22.168.5.19.20-1.4.1-22.214.171.124-Yr-15.23.14-126.96.36.199
If you can translate the code you can find out who the author was and what they had to say. You can then judge if it was worth the effort to encrypt the message and speculate on reasons why it was done.