Things are tough right now ...

They're tough for everyone :( But when coronavirus hit here in the UK, the museum had to close its doors to the public, and we lost practically all our income overnight.

Please Donate Via Just GivingNo visitors, no workshops, no events, no school visits... no income. We know that things are tough for everyone right now, but if you can afford to help us through these tough times please donate what you can.

There's over 36,000 exhibits here! That should keep you occupied for a bit - get searching!

Or come and get involved on our social media channels ...

      Twitch  Facebook          Online Gift Shop      

Thank you.

Ernest Lenaerts

Ernest Lenaerts


Despite an interest in things technical Ernest Lenaerts' parents persuaded him to take a clerical job at J. Lyons & Co, starting in the late 1920s. Bored by his job he asked for more technical training in the hope of getting a job in the Lyons laboratories. His chance to progress came during World War II. In
1941 he became a wireless mechanic in the RAF rising to the rank of sergeant before demobilisation. He returned to Lyons, but was now appointed Radio Mechanic working on innovative microwave technology.

On the inauguration of the collaboration between Cambridge University and Lyons on the EDSAC/LEO project he was sent to Cambridge for the year 1948 both to learn about computer technology and to help in the design of EDSAC. When Lyons commenced building LEO he joined John Pinkerton in the design team. He made many contributions and also helped in the writing of many technical papers including one selected as the best paper of that year. The notebooks he kept during this time can be found here.

Lenaerts subsequently took an interest in the man-machine interface including working on speech recognition. He retired in 1969. 

A biographical sketch of his career can be found on pages 206 to 207 of Peter Bird’s book LEO: the World’s First Business Computer. A biographical sketch by his sons Paul and David is available for reference purposes.

An Obituary to Ernest Lenaerts was published in the Computer Conservation Society's journal Resurrection in 1997. To view it, click on the following link :
External Link : Click Here >>>

The first photo (right) shows Lenaerts with LEO I. The second is much later (1966) and was taken when Lenaerts was recognised for 40 years of service with Lyons. 

Articles Written by Ernest Lenaerts :

Related Topics:




Photograph of Ernest Lenaerts Click for a larger version

Help support the museum by buying from the museum shop

View all items

Founding Sponsors
redgate Google ARM Real VNC Microsoft Research
Heritage Lottery Funded
Heritage Lottery Fund
Accredited Museum