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61704 John Pinkerton at LEO I console (1954)

Description of Photograph

Photograph of John Pinkerton, chief engineer on the LEO project, sitting at the LEO I control console. 

This Keystone Press image is Copyright Getty Images and we are unable to provide a copy online. You can view and licence the image via Getty's website: Getty Images #3068395

Typed press caption [incomplete] on reverse:

Introducing "LEO" - The Electronic Office.
Science Comes to the Aid of the Industrial Office Worker.
Less than one hour to calculate and record the wages of 1700 men both individually and collectively; invoicing and cost accounting in a mere fraction of the time normally taken by human methods. Achievements like this are now a regular feature at a large London undertaking which employs 32,000 people (2,800 clerks) (J. Lyons Ltd. Cadby Hall). On its own account the Electronics Dept of the firm, working with the Comptroller of the Accounts department, has developed the first all-purpose commercial electronic high speed calculator ever built anywhere in the world. Called "LEO", it is not just another electronic brain. It is basically an electronic calculator, but means have been perfected of feeding the machine with information as fast as it can absorb it and at the other end, of recording results in printed form just as fast as the machine can produce them.  Any commercial office work involving repetitive calculation is within its scope, and with it clerks can look forward to a new era, free from arithmetical drudgery, in which they can be concerned far more with the interesting task of interpreting figures rather than producing them. Six years of research have gone into LEO which has a surprising versatility. Already it has done work for insurance people, on guided missiles and other such calculations. More than 5,000 valves were used in the construction and dozens of miles of wiring. Operation is simple, and control possible at all stages. This is a pictures from a series showing various aspects of LEO.
Keystone: JP/10023

JP/10023-10. The Man and the Machine: Dr J Pinkerton at the Control Panel of LEO - The Electronic Office
Dr Pinkerton is an Electronics Engineer working for J. Lyons.  He developed Leo, the Electronic Office, especially to the requirements of the 33,000 staff organisation [...]'


Transferred to the LEO Computers Society archive by LCS Committee member, Mike Storey.

Date: 1954

Photographer: Pratt, John

Physical Description: 1 photographic print; black and white; Typed press caption stuck on reverse of print

Archives Hub References: CMLEO/LS/PH/1/61704
CCH LI 28.2

Other References: DCMLEO20200907502

Comment on This Photograph

This exhibit has a reference ID of CH61704. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.

Photograph of 61704  John Pinkerton at LEO I console  (1954)

Keystone Press (Getty images)

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