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LEO Film Wins ABSW Video of the Year Award

Article in AIS InSider newsletter 2nd August 2022, including a comment from Frank Land.

'Congratulations to the Centre for Computing History and partners The LEO Computers Society for winning the Association of British Science Writers (ABSW) Video of the Year Award 2022 for their film “LEO: The Story of the World’s First Business Computer.”  

During the 1950s in the United Kingdom, a small team began working with the LEO to develop business computing for J. Lyons & Co, a national chain of teashops. AIS Lifetime member Professor Frank Land was a member of the team which worked on the LEO and helped discover this profound piece of technology. After his work on the LEO from the 1960s onward, Professor Land began teaching information systems at the London School of Economics (LSE) and the London Business School helping establish information systems and information management as an area of study. 

His thoughts on receiving the award are as follows, “For the LEO team, the award is significant because it epitomizes the film crew’s belief that the LEO story is important in the history of the business use of computers, and they had the professional skill to make such a great film – a film that should be viewed by all AIS members,” said Professor Land.

More recently, Professor Land and his colleagues have written books and papers about that experience and the standards of good practice that were developed by the team. The film was commissioned as part of a project funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, which is preserving, cataloging, and making accessible the heritage of this remarkable machine to raise awareness of this relatively unknown British story. 

Judges commented that the film was “an absorbing and textured piece with excellent and evocative archive footage”. It aims to introduce a whole new generation, from secondary school age upwards, to the remarkable story of the birth of a technology that, today, we take for granted.

Lisa McGerty, manager of the project said “We're honored that the LEO film we commissioned - and which was expertly made by Richard Hollingham and Jamie Partridge of Boffin Media - has been recognized as the Association of British Science Writers' Video of the Year. LEO's story really is remarkable, and it is a privilege for us to work with some of the surviving pioneers on this project and well-established film producers like Boffin. The first LEO computer was an astounding feat not just of engineering but also of vision by a company that had the foresight to recognize just how computers could revolutionize business at a time when computers didn't really exist. Everyone should know about it.”

Date : 2nd August 2022

This exhibit has a reference ID of CH69146. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.

LEO Film Wins ABSW Video of the Year Award

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