Trivial Tuesday

I have decided to not go with a space program themed question this week.  Instead, this question came to me while listening to Security Now! on the TWiT network.
During a conversation on encryption algorithms, it was mentioned that this communication system was created in the 1840's by counting the number of  letter dies, from a printing press,  used for a standard newspaper page.  What system am I referring to?
This is another question that will either be answered quickly or will go unanswered.  I hope it's somewhere in between, but that's just my optimism.  Have a good day and good luck.