Programme and links to papers presented
Target audience
About LEO
Press and media information and links to articles about the conference
Conference supporters
Organizing committee
NCC prize paper
LEO conference home page

Business Computing:
the Second 50 Years

The Guildhall conference for business leaders

About LEO

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.

The history of LEO

Sources of information about LEO

Recent photos of LEO pioneers

The LEO Legacy


page last updated 17 June, 2004