Richard Brisson


Richard Brisson is a graduate from the University of Ottawa
(B.Sc. Math-Physics in 1978 and M.Sc. Systems Science in 1980).
Upon graduation, he was hired by the Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC) from which he retired in 2011. His career at CSEC largely involved duties that encompassed various fields of Mathematics and Computer Science - he is also a graduate of NSA's 3-year
Cryptologic Mathematics Program. Over the last 25 years, he has been collecting vintage cryptographic and clandestine artifacts dating up to and including the Cold War.

He has had a number of partnerships in the display of artifacts including the Diefenbunker (Cold War Bunker in Carp near Ottawa), National Museum of Science and Technology (in Ottawa), and the National Cryptologic Museum at Fort Meade.

Richard will be offering these talks during the symposium:

a) Developing a Proof-of-Concept Small-Scale Museum on Cryptology and Espionage

The many years of collecting have brought together several diverse artifacts which require specific approaches to displaying and story-telling. To make the most of the space available at his home, Richard came to the inevitable conclusion that he had to let go of one other major side of his collecting - antique vacuum tube radios which at one time included
a Scott Quaranta:

The displays also thread themes such as secure phones, classic cryptographic machines (such as Hebern, Kryha, Soviet devices, Enigma, Hagelin, etc), vintage children's decoders (Radio Orphan Annie, Captain Midnight to name two series), spy toys and games from the 1950's and 1960's, WW-II suitcase radios from the
SOE and OSS, clandestine recording tradecraft, etc.

Here are three samples from Richard's collection:

The talk will focus on critical parameters on taking several artifacts and displaying them appropriately within confined spaces while providing adequate background information.

b) A Snapshot of Canada and the Cryptologic History - Yardley, Gouzenko, Tutte

The talk will cover three key individuals which were part of Canada's cryptologic history: Herbert Yardley, Igor Gouzenko and Dr. William Tutte. Interestingly, none of the three were originally Canadian.

c) Cryptologic Museology in Canada - War Museum, Military Communications and Electronics Museum - RCMP, CSIS, CSEC

This presentation will offer a snapshot of Canadian museums that showcase cryptologic artifacts - some several in Kingston's Military Communications and Electronics Museum.
There will also be a discussion and photos of artifacts belonging to "4-letter" organizations in Canada.

d) Cryptologic Toys Exhibit at the National Cryptologic Museum

Part of Richard's toy decoder collection was lent to the NCM which was put on display from November 2003 until January 2006:


The talk will cover a description of the major items comprising the exhibit.
These notably included some Radio Orphan Annie, Captain Midnight, Dick Tracy, Boy Scouts of America and Get Smart decoders or communications devices of some sort or other.

Richard Brisson