A technology blog for The Economist Group IT team

Friday, February 18, 2005

Did it all begin over a cuppa !!!. There are probably a few companies that lay claim to having spawned commercial computing. But Joe Lyons (of old tea house fame) probably have as strong a claim as most. For them, it all began back in the early 50’s. The Lyon’s company was fairly progressive for those days with a strong interests in new office management techniques. In 1951 the LEO I (Lyons Electronic Office) computer was operational and ran the world's first regular routine office computer job.
Not having done much ‘homework’ (before the days of the Internet), I was rather be mussed when I started at Joe Lyons in (can’t remember when) as a computer operator, to find out that their areas of business ranged from tea bags to computer bureau work !!!.
I was only there for 2 years but the company as I remember was extremely proud of it’s heritage and provided a sound grounding with comprehensive training (unusual for those days). Many web sites provide a history of those early days but a good one can be found at http://is.lse.ac.uk/leo/About_LEO.htm. Don’t look at the pictures too hard or you may find one of me (with hair).
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