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URGENT REQUEST: Do you have any LEO memorabilia - e.g. pieces of hardware, engineering drawings, charts and plans, programming information, computer files, correspondence or reminiscences?
If so, you can help us. We are collecting such material to join a growing archive at the Centre for Computing History in Cambridge, our partners in a National Lottery Heritage funded project to preserve, protect and promote the history of the world's first business computer.
Please contact Secretary@leo-computers.org.uk for further details.

THIS IS THE SITE OF THE LEO COMPUTERS SOCIETY,
CELEBRATING THE WORLD'S FIRST BUSINESS COMPUTER.

ABOUT US:
    
It was, surprisingly, a British catering firm, J. Lyons and Co - famous for their teashops, Swiss rolls and ice cream which pioneered the development of computing for commercial applications. As the Guinness Book of Records ratifies, Lyons Electronic Office (LEO) was the first business computer in the world
In 1951 the LEO I computer was operational and ran
the world's first regular routine office computer job.

The LEO Computers Society (which has charitable status) started life as a reunion society for people who worked on these remarkable machines. Its principal mission now is to ensure that LEO's heritage is preserved, protected and - importantly - promoted to wider audiences.
In 2018, The Society formed a partnership with the Centre for Computing History in Cambridge and together we gained important funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund. We are working on a joint project called 'Swiss Rolls, Tea and the Electronic Office: A History of LEO, the First Business Computer.' So far, we have gathered together a large amount of LEO memorabilia - much of it from generous members. Our partners in Cambridge have archived this material and are working on digitising it.
Our comprehensive catalogue of all material related to LEO - LEOpedia - is also being incorporated into the project. We aim to establish a single window on to all LEO collections wherever they are - our archive includes artefacts, written and oral memoirs, documents, engineering drawings - in fact, anything LEO-related. We are also planning exciting new ways to tell the LEO story - for example, by creating a virtual reality (VR) version of LEO I.
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We are very grateful for this lottery funding and are now together bidding for a further phase so that we can carry out our ambitious aims to make the LEO story come alive.
The importance of LEO has been recognised by displays in many prestigious institutions such as the Science Museum, London, the National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park, the Centre for Computing History, Cambridge and as far away as Mountain View, California. There are historic LEO materials held in several universities and archives including those at Manchester, Warwick, Melbourne University and the Charles Babbage Institute, USA. Oral histories of LEO pioneers and practitioners are available to listen to on websites such as that of The British Library.

Other activities of the Society include:
  • supporting a PhD student at Middlesex University
  • promoting LEO lectures
  • arranging talks on LEO to clubs and societies
  • organising reunions/exhibitions
  • publishing a regular newsletter 'LEO Matters'
  • selling copies of books on LEO - by Peter Bird, Georgina Ferry - and an anthology of reminiscences of those who worked on LEO themselves
Please look at the News section of this website for up to date information on our activities.

Membership of the Society is open to:
  • all ex-employees of LEO Computers and its succeeding companies;
  • anyone who worked with a LEO computer;
  • and indeed anyone who has an interest in the history of LEO Computers.
We welcome the active participation of members - whether through volunteering as interviewers for oral histories, writing their own reminiscences, contributing to the newsletter or simply through spreading the word!
To join please see the Application Form on the drop down menu. Membership is currently free of charge. Contact Secretary@leo-computers-org.uk for any further information
A comprehensive collection of references and holdings related to the story of LEO has been compiled by Frank Land, FBCS.   Now known as the LEOPEDIA and currently at 90 pages, it is regularly augmented. The areas covered are shown below in a clip from the Contents page of the LEOPEDIA.
The latest PDF version (14/10/2019) is available here......and an HTML version available here...