LEO/1 at Cadby Hall (photo courtesy of LEO Computers Society)
On November 17th 1951, the J. Lyons company began weekly operation of a bakery valuations job on a computer called LEO (Lyons Electronic Office). This was the first business application to go live on a stored program computer anywhere in the world. David Caminer, LEO's systems and programming manager at the time, will describe this and subsequent developments at the conference.
J. Lyons did not plan to go into the computer business. They were first and foremost a catering company, proud to be in the vanguard of organisation and methods. In 1947 they had a vision that their ambitious efficiency goals might be realised by electronic means. Since no suitable computer was available they set out to build their own, and had to invent, from scratch, the disciplines of systems analysis and programming. Such was their success that other businesses asked them for help and so they were drawn into the computer business. But LEO's staff never forgot that the technology was merely a means to an end, and that the primary objective was to improve business efficiency. This conference continues to reflect that spirit.
Recent photos of LEO pioneers
The LEO Legacy
page last updated 17 June, 2004