Picture of telegraph poles

Barnard, “Arbitrable Nathan,” and the 1895 Police Cipher

It was 1895, and the company of St. Louis printing manufacturer George D. Barnard was focused on telegraph wires, specifically how individuals might tap them to “listen in” on Morse-code messages between police U.S. police departments. Continue reading Barnard, “Arbitrable Nathan,” and the 1895 Police Cipher

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An army marches through Frederick during the Civil War

Mid-Maryland Magnified: “Look up at that Flag, with its Thirty-four Stars!”

The citizens of Frederick, Maryland, had much to question and fear in the early weeks of April 1861. Seven states had seceded from the Union, while fiery debates raged in communities across the nation. Continue reading Mid-Maryland Magnified: “Look up at that Flag, with its Thirty-four Stars!”