A Computer Called LEO: Lyons Tea Shops and the World's First Office Computer

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Fourth Estate, 2003 - Business - 220 pages
2 Reviews
This is the eccentric story of one of the most bizarre marriages in the history of British business: the invention of the world's first office computer and the Lyons Teashop. The Lyons teashops were one of the great British institutions, providing a cup of tea and a penny bun through the depression, the war, austerity and on into the 1960s and 1970s. Yet Lyons also has a more surprising claim to history. In the 1930s John Simmons, a young graduate in charge of the clerks' offices that totalled all the bills issued by the Nippies and kept track of the costs of all the tea, cakes and other goods distributed to the nation's cafes and shops, became obsessed by the new ideas of scientific management. He had a dream: to build a machine that would automate the millions of tedious transactions and process them in as little time as possible.

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User Review  - GeoffSC - LibraryThing

Having lived through computer history and even worked on a relative of the LEO (English Electric Leo KDF6) I found the book fascinating. Gripping even. The author gives an excellent account of the ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jaygheiser - LibraryThing

A very interesting book, and an excellent read. Nice bibliography of sources on Lyons, computer history, and office history. Read full review

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About the author (2003)

Ferry is a science writer and broadcaster in the United Kingdom.

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