Sir Clive Sinclair Surprises Visitors...

Visitors at the Centre for Computing History’s special Sinclair Celebration Weekend Event were surprised and delighted on Saturday morning when the man himself made an impromptu appearance at the museum.

Sir Clive Sinclair at The Centre for Computing History

Former Sinclair Research colleague and subsequent Acorn Computers rival, Christopher Curry was on hand to welcome Sir Clive, who arrived with his brother Iain, to the Centre for Computing History and accompany him on his tour of the exhibition.

Curator Jason Fitzpatrick said: "This event was planned months back and we had no idea Sir Clive would visit until a few days ago. We feel hugely honoured that he decided to attend.

"Sir Clive was and remains one of the most pioneering and influential inventors of modern times. A brilliant, world-leading engineer, he is also a very significant figure in the story of the British home computer boom of the early 1980s.

"The rivalry between Sinclair Research and Acorn Computers is central to the history of the British personal computer industry. It was a catalyst for creativity, a pivotal moment, and it all happened here in Cambridge. I guess this chapter of the Cambridge Phenomenon became the talk of the town!”

Jason Fitzpatrick with Sir Clive Sinclair and brother Iain Sinclair

The team at CCH selected more than 100 objects brought together for the very first time. Centre stage was a special display of Sinclair computers - ZX80 (1980), the UK's first mass-market home computer -ZX81 and the much loved - ZX Spectrum (1981).

The exhibition also featured Sinclair’s early radio products from 1965 through to the pocket TV, calculators, the legendary C5 electric vehicle, other lesser known ‘Clive classics’, rare development hardware, software, printed material and related memorabilia. 

Jason Fitzpatrick said: "We believe our Sinclair collection is the largest in a museum in the world. Our intention here was to pay homage to the man and place his inventiveness in a proper context through exploring his creative processes as technology innovator and cultural icon.

"We are hoping to curate a full retrospective of the extraordinary career of Sir Clive Sinclair next year to celebrate his 75th birthday.”

The Centre for Computing History has just launched a major initiative linked to this exhibition to collect and preserve primary source material, records and documentation relevant to both Acorn Computers and Sinclair Research. The Sinclair / Acorn Archive will include records relevant to the history of both companies (minutes, reports, correspondence and photographs; personal papers; papers of individuals related to the company, such as former staff; and oral histories). 

Press Information:

Elaine Symonds | Press Manager - Centre for Computing History | +44 (0)1223 214446

Centre for Computing History, Rene Court, Coldhams Road, Cambridge  CB1 3EW

Notes for Editors

Sir Clive Sinclair

Sir Clive Sinclair was born in London in 1940. An English entrepreneur and inventor, he is known for his work in consumer electronics, especially in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Sinclair founded Sinclair Radionics in 1961, where he produced the first slim-line electronic pocket calculator in 1972 (the Sinclair Executive). He later moved into the production of home computers and produced the Sinclair ZX80, the UK's first mass-market home computer for less than GB£100, and later, with Sinclair Research, the ZX81 and ZX Spectrum; the latter is widely recognised for its importance in the early days of the British home computer industry.

Knighted in 1983, Sinclair formed Sinclair Vehicles and released the Sinclair C5, a battery electric vehicle. Since then Sinclair has concentrated on personal transport, including the A-bike, a folding bicycle for commuters that weighs 5.5 kilograms (12 lb) and folds down small enough to be carried on public transport.

Centre for Computing History

Established in 2006, the Centre for Computing History (CCH) is a pioneering educational charity based in Cambridge. Its core purpose is to increase understanding of developments in computing over the past 50 years through exploring the social, cultural and historical impact of the Information Age.


Date : 03-03-2014

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