Information about Henry E. Langen

The following information about Henry E. Langen (HELCRYPT), editor of the American Cryptogram Association between 1952-1956, is brought with permission of the American Cryptogram Association.  The information is taken from the April-May 1953 and July-August 1962 issues of The Cryptogram, respectively.  Many thanks to the American Cryptogram Association for granting permission, and to Mike Cowan for notifying us of the existence of these articles.

Biography of Henry E. Langen (The Cryptogram, April-May 1953)

Information about Henry E. Langen, past editor of the American Cryptogram Association

Obituary (The Cryptogram, July-August 1962)

Henry E. Langen's obituary in July-August 1962 issue of "The Cryptogram"

Quote from Langen's log entitled "The Editor’s Notebook of the American Cryptogram Association 1952-1956"

In their 1990 article in Cryptologia entitled "Chaocipher enters the computer age when its method is disclosed to Cryptologia editors", Lou Kruh and Cipher Deavour have the following to say:

An overlooked, possibly valuable clue is in The Editor’s Notebook of the American Cryptogram Association 1952-1956 [ed. kept by Henry E. Langen].  … According to Langen, “He [ed. Byrne] did explain that the machine is made up somewhat like a typewriter with two revolving disks with the alphabets arranged along the periphery in a complete disorder.”  Langen commented parenthetically that “With only two disks used, I am a bit confused as to how this can result in such utter chaotification of the plaintext message.”

"Cryptography - Confidential": Langen's notes on Chaocipher

In David Kahn's library donated to the National Cryptologic Museum is a manuscript entitled "Cryptography - Confidential".  It is a collection of notes and letters from people who believed they had devised unsolvable ciphers or cipher devices.  One of the entries is Langen's notes regarding everything related to John F. Byrne and Chaocipher.  It is reproduced here with the kind permission of the National Cryptologic Museum.


An on-line genealogical search found Langen's Social Security number of 148-09-6567.

Copyright (c) 2009 Moshe Rubin
Created: 29 October 2010
Last updated: 7 April 2011

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