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60498 LEO I Public/Press Demonstration

Description of Photograph

Photograph of the LEO I installation set up for the first public demonstration on 16 February 1954, attended by the national press. Arthur Clements devised a caption on a rolling blind mounted on the ceiling, giving details of the pensions/payroll job being run on LEO I.


Research comments: This photograph shows the 'roller blind' contraption used in the demo most clearly. Presumably someone rolled the blind around during the demo as a visual aid to explain what the machine was calculating.

The title at the top of the sheet (this is facing towards LEO's valve racks and away from the peripherals area) is 'Reconciliation for normal weekly pension deduction'. Below that it explains the various calculations LEO would do for the 'Calculation of this week's credit to pension fund' and then the 'Control account for pension contributions in suspense during holiday'. Then, it explains, LEO posted the 'Control account for pensions deducted for year to date', the 'Reconciliation for normal weekly other deductions', the 'Reconciliation between this week's other deductions and normal' and the 'Control account for loans outstanding'. Finally the sheet says 'Control account for (?) savings for month' at the bottom.

As a result of the demo the press made a great deal of fuss about the 'giant brain' (a popular phrase used at the time) that could calculate a man's pay faster than a human clerk could do it. (LM/CM)


Collected by Peter Bird as part of his research for his book LEO - The First Business Computer (1994).

Date: 16th February 1954

Physical Description: 1 photographic print; black and white

Archives Hub References: CMLEO/PB/PH/1/60498

Other References: DCMLEO20200805001
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Comment on This Photograph

This exhibit has a reference ID of CH60498. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.

Photograph of 60498 LEO I Public/Press Demonstration

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