LEO - The world's first 'Electronic Office'

The world’s first computer used for business purposes was the Lyons Electronic Office (LEO). Begun by the company J. Lyons & Co Ltd, who believed that automation was the answer to efficiency, this innovation began the understanding that businesses could use a computer. 

Front elevation of an office building with two statues flanking the entrance.

English Electric

English Electric began to make computers in the 1950s. Their 1955 model ‘Deuce’ was one of the first commercially available computers. As time went on, English Electric acquired other companies, including LEO. Find out more about them in this article.


Find out more about Marconi and its acquisitions and mergers with the General Electric Company and others, including interviewees’ thoughts on influential industrialist, Lord Arnold Weinstock.

computer servers

International Computers Limited (ICL)

ICL was formed in 1968, combining companies International Computers and Tabulators (ICT),  English Electric Leo Marconi and others. Find out more about its fate in this in-depth analysis.


Ferranti was a significant UK electrical engineering and equipment firm, known for defence electronics, power grids and the world’s first commercially available computer, the Ferranti Mark 1, made and sold to Manchester University in 1951.

ARM Cortex A57 A53

Acorn Computers and ARM

The origins of ARM go back to 1983 and Acorn Computers, creator of one of the first RISC processors used in microcomputers. Find out more about the history of these companies through our oral history interviews.


Find out more about inventor Sir Clive Sinclair and his famous tech products, including the iconic ZX range.


Logica dominated the UK IT  industry straight from its inception in 1969. Find out more about its work and influence through the memories of its employees.