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The Mystery 19th-Century Code Found in a Dress

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When an archaeological curator discovered pages of strange code in a secret pocket inside a vintage dress, it set off a years-long search to decipher the seemingly unrelated lists of words. The mystery was solved in 2018, when a researcher at the University of Manitoba named Wayne Chan discovered that the words were part of a sophisticated 19th-century code used by the Army Signal Corps to transmit weather information via telegraph. Chan wrote a research article about his find, and tells the whole fascinating story in a 17-minute video in graphic-novel form. This is part of a complete episode.

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