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Jefferson Wheel Cipher

Tool to decrypt/encrypt according to Jefferson. The Jefferson wheel cipher is a polyalphabetic cipher invented by Thomas Jefferson and using a cylinder with several wheels.

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Jefferson Wheel Cipher -

Tag(s) : Poly-Alphabetic Cipher

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Jefferson Wheel Cipher

Jefferson Cylinder Decoder




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Auto fill: [Original Wheels] [French Variant]

Jefferson Encoder



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Auto fill: [Original Wheels] [French Variant]


Tool to decrypt/encrypt according to Jefferson. The Jefferson wheel cipher is a polyalphabetic cipher invented by Thomas Jefferson and using a cylinder with several wheels.

Answers to Questions

How to encrypt using Jefferson Wheel cipher?

Jefferson's encryption uses a cylinder of several vertical rotating wheels. Each of the twenty-six letters of the alphabet are randomly written on the edge of each wheel.

There are several versions of the cylinder, each with a different alphabet number (between 10 and 25), and different alphabets all in a possibly modifiable order.

Example: The original configuration uses this series of 25 alphabets whose 17th begins with ARMYOFTHEUS (imagine each line as a vertical wheel):

1ABCEIGDJFVUYMHTQKZOLRXSPWN2ACDEHFIJKTLMOUVYGZNPQXRWSB
3ADKOMJUBGEPHSCZINXFYQRTVWL4AEDCBIFGJHLKMRUOQVPTNWYXZS
5AFNQUKDOPITJBRHCYSLWEMZVXG6AGPOCIXLURNDYZHWBJSQFKVMET
7AHXJEZBNIKPVROGSYDULCFMQTW8AIHPJOBWKCVFZLQERYNSUMGTDX
9AJDSKQOIVTZEFHGYUNLPMBXWCR10AKELBDFJGHONMTPRQSVZUXYWIC
11ALTMSXVQPNOHUWDIZYCGKRFBEJ12AMNFLHQGCUJTBYPZKXISRDVEWO
13ANCJILDHBMKGXUZTSWQYVORPFE14AODWPKJVIUQHZCTXBLEGNYRSMF
15APBVHIYKSGUENTCXOWFQDRLJZM16AQJNUBTGIMWZRVLXCSHDEOKFPY
17ARMYOFTHEUSZJXDPCWGQIBKLNV18ASDMCNEQBOZPLGVJRKYTFUIWXH
19ATOJYLFXNGWHVCMIRBSEKUPDZQ20AUTRZXQLYIOVBPESNHJWMDGFCK
21AVNKHRGOXEYBFSJMUDQCLZWTIP22AWVSFDLIEBHKNRJQZGMXPUCOTY
23AXKWREVDTUFOYHMLSIQNJCPGBZ24AYJPXMVKBQWUGLOSTECHNZFRID
25AZDNBUHYFWJLVGRCQMPSOEXTKI

To write a message, the author turns the wheels and aligns the letters to make a line.

The encrypted message consists of any other cylinder line (usually the top line or the bottom line). If there are not enough wheels, encrypt the beginning of the message normally and start over / continue with the remaining letters.

Example: Code JEFFERSON with the cylinder described below. Locate the first letter J on the first wheel 1 ABCEIGDJFVUYMHTQKZOLRXSPWN and take the letter directly below (here beside) or F. Continue with the Nth letter and the Nth wheel. The encrypted message is: FHYGMNYBL

How to decrypt Jefferson Wheel cipher?

The Jefferson Wheel decryption requires knowing the configuration of the cylinder of the transmitter in order to perform a decryption.

Position the letters of the encrypted message on the wheels and read the line directly (or directly above depending on how the coding was done)

Example: Decode the message WWPATYZSZ by locating the Nth letter on the Nth wheel (using the configuration described above). W on the wheel 1 ABCEIGDJFVUYMHTQKZOLRXSPWN is preceded by the letter P, and so on. The plain message is PRESIDENT.

How to recognize a Jefferson's Wheel ciphertext?

The message has a low coincidence score (0.04) due to the use of multiple alphabets.

In its usual versions, the message contains only letters.

Jefferson's cylinder is often confused with the cryptex popularized by the novel Da Vinci Code.

What are the variants of the Jefferson's Wheel cipher?

Without being a variant, the cylinder can have multiple configurations, in number of wheels and according to their order. A wheel rotation key can be used to complicate the decryption.

When Jefferson's Wheel have been invented?

The invention of the cylinder by Thomas Jefferson is estimated in 1793.

Source code

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Thanks to your feedback and relevant comments, dCode has developped the best Jefferson Wheel Cipher tool, so feel free to write! Thank you !


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