Tea, Cake & Computers - Saturday 10th August 2019
Did you know that the great British obsession with tea gave rise to the world's first business computer?
This event celebrates J Lyons & Co, a company famous for its high street teashops, cakes and ice cream - and an early computer. In the early 1950s, high street teashop company Lyons developed the Lyons Electronic Office (LEO) which was one of the world's earliest stored program digital computers and the very first computer used for the kind of applications businesses take for granted today - apps like stock control, payroll and logistics.
So we're dedicating a day to celebrating this forward-thinking, uniquely British company and the computer it developed. We'll be putting up the bunting, offering tea, cake and ice creams (of course!) and we'll have two talks on Lyons and LEO during the day:
- 12:30pm: Food for Thought by Neville Lyons, a relative of Sir Joseph Lyons. Neville will talk about the history of J Lyons & Co, including those activities that are not so well known, such as catering for the 1901 Cup Final at Crystal Palace, the largest banquet for 8000 people at Olympia, Royal Garden Parties and even control of a wartime bomb-making factory!
- 2pm: the Lyons Electronic Office and Virtual Reality by Chris Monk. Chris will talk about LEO, giving a preview of the 'virtual LEO' he's developing as part of our lottery-funded project 'Swiss Rolls, Tea & the Electronic Office.' Virtual reality (VR) is the perfect tool to bring to life the LEO 1 computer, the room in which it stood and the environment in which it worked. VR can enable us to explore this magnificent machine, finding out more about its history in an engaging interactive way. While the VR element is still in development, in this talk Chris will show the 80+ photographs of the LEO 1 installation that have been identified and explain how pulling those together has given us brand new insights into the machine. An opportunity will be provided to see the VR LEO installation through an early 'test' version running on an Oculus Rift and to hear how it will be brought fully to life over the coming year.
Entry to the talks is included as part of our general admission price but to guarantee entry, entry tickets for the day can be purchased here.
Date: Saturday 10th August 2019
Time: 10:00am - 5:00pm
Payment is taken immediately. Please print a copy of the receipt that is displayed at the end of the payment process and bring it with you as your e-ticket.
Remember - All proceeds go to support our Computing Museum!