Lyons Electronic Office (LEO): the world's first business computer - 11 & 12 November 2017
An exhibition that explores how a company famous for its tea shops took the lead in applying computers to the world of business in the 1950s.
We'll have members of the LEO Society with us for the whole weekend to talk to visitors about what is was really like working with these big old computers.
There will be talk about The History of LEO at 11:30am on Saturday and Sunday:
11:30am Saturday - Peter Byford
11:30 am Sunday - John Daines
And there'll be lots of rare LEO items on display.
In November 1951, British company J. Lyons & Co., famous in the food and catering industry, announced that it had built its own computer and was using it to process the output of its bakeries. At this time in history, computers filled whole rooms and had to delivered by forktruck. They were used as research and military tools but Lyons had developed one as a business application for the very first time.
The first LEO was heavily based on the Cambridge EDSAC and, in fact, the forward-thinking Lyons had part funded EDSAC's development so that they could produce a copy themselves for commercial purposes. LEO Computers went on to become part of many British companies from Ford to Kodak and remained in use in the Post Office until the early 1980s.
Sadly, there is little LEO hardware left in the world but this exhibition will bring together the objects CCH holds along with some items on loan from the LEO Society and Corby Heritage Centre to tell the story of this extraordinary company and the computerised business world they helped create.
Admission to this exhibition is free as part of our standard museum entry charges so if you book your ticket here you'll only pay the entry fee and you can see the whole museum when you visit.
Remember - All proceeds go to support our Computing Museum!