Home > LEO Computers > Lyons Electronic Office (LEO) Archive > CMLEO/EL - Ernest Lenaerts Collection > Lenaerts Corresponden ... nchester photocopies) > 62816 Lenaerts-Cadby Hall correspondence > 62888 Lenaerts post-war work for Lyons

62888 Lenaerts post-war work for Lyons

Photocopies of correspondence between Ernest Lenaerts and George Booth, John Simmons, T.R. Thompson and W.J. Edwards at J. Lyons & Co, regarding the possibility of Lenaerts' return to work at Lyons after his time in the RAF during WWII.

- 1. George Booth (Director and Secretary, Lyons) to Ernest Lenaerts, 1st Sep 1944;
- 2. Ernest Lenaerts to George Booth, 6th Sep 1944;
- 3. George Booth to Ernest Lenaerts, 27th Sep 1944;
- 4-8. Ernest Lenaerts to T.R. Thompson (Assistant Secretary, Lyons), describing in detail his war work with the RAF, and enclosing a list he had drawn up of Possible Applications of Electronics in Lyons Factories, 17th May 1945; 
- 9. T.R. Thompson to Ernest Lenaerts, 28th May 1945; 
- 10. W.J. Edwards (on behalf of Chief Electrical Engineer, Lyons) to Ernest Lenaerts, offering him a job as a radio mechanic at Lyons, 21st Dec 1945.

Page numbers in red were added by Peter Bird.

Research Comments: The first three of these letters are dated prior to the end of World War II in Europe (VE Day, as it is now known, was 8th May 1945). The tone and content of the letters suggest that both George Booth and Ernest Lenaerts were aware of the imminent end of the war and that English people were starting to seriously consider what kind of world would exist afterwards and to plan for their own place in it. George Booth would later successfully make the case for developing an electronic 'calculator' (computer) to the Lyons board of directors. As the letters show, Lenaerts  would return to Lyons in December 1945 after demobilisation. He later became the first Lyons employee dedicated to the LEO computer project.

Lenaerts' letter on the Possible Applications of Electronics in Lyons Factories gives an interesting insight into the development of electronics that had advanced due to the war and how Lenaerts thought they might work for Lyons in its future development as a mass caterer. Lenaerts had worked for Lyons in a clerical role until the war but had worked as a radio mechanic in his war work. His letter lists how 'photoelectric cells' (electronic devices that are light sensitive, used to generate or control an output of electric current) could be used by Lyons in everything from jam and ice cream production to health and safety and product counting or sorting. Similarly, electronic heaters could be used, he says, for cooking (for products like Swiss rolls, sponges and even 'crustless bread') as well as for drying print or sealing cartons. TR Thompson's (May 1945) reply tells us that Lyons were already working on at least some of these applications. (LM)

Date : 1st September 1944 to 21st December 1945

Creator : Lenaerts, Ernest

Physical Description : 10 pages, paper; typescript; photocopies

Provenance :
The photocopies were originally requested by Peter Bird, as part of his research for LEO - The First Business Computer, and later donated to the NAHC, then transferred to CCH at the request of the LEO Computers Society for inclusion in their archive.

Archive References : CMLEO/EL/CW/1/1 , CCH OE 778.001-010 , DCMLEO20210112001-010

Related Topics:
This exhibit has a reference ID of CH62888. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.
Article: 62888 Lenaerts post-war work for Lyons

This document has been scanned and is available to view online.
Estate of Ernest Lenaerts and Lyons copyright
File Size: 3.72 MB

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