In late 1952 Christopher L Johnson, a 37-year-old graduate engineer at Rolls-Royce, was commissioned to report on the value and feasibility of a “Proposed Computer Installation for the Design Department”.

You can read the full report below and a here is a link to a our news feature on the report and its discovery.

A few months later, on 2 March 1953, the report was submitted and recommended that a computer should be acquired by Rolls-Royce and so began the engine-manufacturer’s position as a leader in the engineering and aviation application of computers in the UK.

Discovery of the original Rolls-Royce document was revealed in November 2022 when Archives of IT interviewed Christopher’s son Tim Johnson, an eminent technology researcher, writer and publisher (founder of the market-leading Ovum) who found the report in his late father’s files. His father went on to become a hydraulics engineer for Rolls-Royce where he spent all his working life from 1938 to 1975.
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