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Memorandum for General Bryden
September 6, 1940 [Washington, D.C.]
The “scrambler” for disguising telephone messages, which is being set up in each Corps Area Headquarters and is to be set up here in the War Department is now ready for installation here. It is a box 10 x 30 inches long and about 6 inches higher than the top of my desk. It should be near a wall plug. The question is where to have it installed.
With these “scramblers” we can conduct conversations with reasonable privacy with each of the Corps Area Commanders. Also, with the more complicated and difficult to decipher trans-Atlantic “scrambler” installed in Panama and Anchorage and in Seattle, we can superimpose our privacy scrambled effect on the more complicated scrambler and produce a still more difficult situation for anybody to decipher—this is not entirely the word for a telephone conversation, but it conveys my meaning.
Will you think over where this box might be placed. They supposed it would go in my office, but I do not know as that would be the most desirable place to have it.1
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, Selected Materials, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed memorandum.
1. The Bell Telephone Laboratory device was installed in Deputy Chief of Staff William Bryden’s office, where it was tested on September 18. Other `scramblers’ were soon installed in Orlando Ward’s and Richard C. Moore’s offices. (“Test of New Telephone Device,” September 18, 1940, NA/RG 16s [OCS, Chronological, Miscellaneous].)
Recommended Citation: The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, ed. Larry I. Bland, Sharon Ritenour Stevens, and Clarence E. Wunderlin, Jr. (Lexington, Va.: The George C. Marshall Foundation, 1981- ). Electronic version based on The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, vol. 2, “We Cannot Delay,” July 1, 1939-December 6, 1941 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986), pp. 299-300.