Friedman, Elizebeth Smith – Scientist & Codebreaker


The Elizebeth Smith Friedman mug is part of a biographical mug series and includes an image of Elizebeth Smith Friedman and a short biography.

Small Mug, 11 oz.

Large Mug, 15 oz.


Clear selection


Elizebeth Smith Friedman was an American expert cryptanalyst and author.  Before WWII, she worked with the Bureau of Narcotics, Internal Revenue, and Customs where she solved over 12,000 rumrunners’ messages and helped indict Al Capone. Working with the Coast Guard she broke cipher systems used by Germans during the war.  Her team decoded 4000 messages sent on 48 different radio circuits.  After the war, Friedman became a consultant to the International Monetary Fund and created communication security systems for them.  Sworn to secrecy, Friedman was not recognized for her work in her lifetime.  In 2019, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution “Honoring the life and legacy of Elizebeth Smith Friedman, Cryptanalyst.”


Cryptography is the use of ciphers and codes to protect secrets.  Classic cryptography involved methods of encryption that used pen and paper to create codes that could be broken by individuals with a talent for detecting patterns.  In the 20th century inventions of complex machines such as the Enigma rotor machine allowed sophisticated schemes of greater complexity.

This Elizebeth Smith Friedman History Mug is part of our biographical mug series which includes many unique individuals.

The biographical History Mugs were created to teach and inspire individuals to learn about our diverse and interesting history.  The biographies were researched and written by history enthusiast, Robert Compton.  He colorized most of the historic photos and images used on the mugs, which were originally black and white or sepia tone.  The images and biographies are imprinted on mugs at his studio in rural Vermont.

  • Mugs are food and microwave safe.
  • To preserve photographic quality we recommend hand washing.
  • Mugs are usually shipped within 3-5 days.

Additional information


Small, Large


White Deco, Black Lined Deco, Black Lined & Handle Deco, All White-Full Photo, Black Lined-Full Photo, Black Lined & Handle-Full Photo, All Black