The Lyons Electronic Office - LEOII/3 electronic programable storage computer, installed and first d
Lot 569W
The Lyons Electronic Office - LEOII/3 electronic programmable storage computer, installed and first demonstration run in May 1958,
Sold for £8,400 (US$ 13,182) inc. premium

Lot Details
The Lyons Electronic Office - LEOII/3 electronic programmable storage computer,
installed and first demonstration run in May 1958,
The first commercially sold computer.

Hardware:
Tape head reader unit, with split part operation and monitor controls for 'run' and 'halt', blue-painted faceplate and chrome removing pull;
Memory carriage unit, with 11-valve lineup (one missing, one vacuum loss), rectangular chassis with resistor boards below and rack hoops at each end;
Frequency Monitor Unit with CRT display, with square chassis and vision mixer valves on top, used in conjunction with the delay tube box;
CRT tube from the main control console, one of three tubes from the desk, (vacuum lost, gun end cracked);
A LEO magnetic tube drum, lockable lids and the tape protected in reel core.

Paperwork:
A series of circuit diagram blueprints covering the magnetic drum reader, amplifier, storage and input circuits, all numbered and some with pencil annotations on slight changes to circuit paths; two punch cards, both processed by LEOII/3, showing punched number columns;
Newspaper 1 - The Review News, July 1957, the article covering the installation of LEOII/3 at Stewart & Lloyds;
Newspaper 2 - The Steel News, 15 July 1971, covering, surprisingly briefly, the LEOII/3 decommissioning task and the farewell message it printed;
The Farewell Message - the actual printout as churned through LEOII/3's printer rollers, now framed - in full layout it says:
LEO II
13 YEARS
58-71
WORKED
70000 HOURS
USED
124000000 CARDS
2600 PAPER TAPE
PRODUCED 8800000 PAYSLIPS
3640000 INVOICES
NOW IT IS TIME TO CLOSE
23 JUNE 71


Originally occupying an area measuring 80' x 32' 6", it was switched off, replaced and super-seeded by an IBM 360. - the memory unit 26.1/2in. (67cm) wide

Footnotes

  • The LEO timeline through history:

    1947 November - Lyons board agree to provide aid to Cambridge University to complete EDSAC

    1949 May - EDSAC completes first job Lyons agree to proceed with the building of LEO

    1951 November - Cadby Hall Bakery Valuations job runs live on LEO and thereafter each week: the world’s first regular routine office job

    1954 February - LEO pay-slips used for the first time as payment authorities for Lyons payroll.

    1954 November - LEO Computers Ltd formed

    1955 December - Pilot Ford payroll live on LEO I

    1956 February - First external order for LEO II for W.D. & H.O. Wills

    1957 May - Ford payroll running on LEO I reaches 10,000
    LEO II prototype operational
    Pilot running of Stewarts and Llyods payroll starts

    1958 May - LEO II/3 commissioned at Stewart and Llyods, Corby
    September LEO II/2 at W.D. and H.O. Wills, Bristol
    December LEO II/4 at Ford Motor Co Aveley, Essex

    M.B-L comments: "Leo I 1951 was the prototype. There were 13 of the second Generation Leo IIs made. Leo II/1 replaced Leo I the manufacturer’s computer. Leo II/2 was sold to the Wills Tabacco Co Leo II/3 was sold to Stuart and Llyods, Leo II/4 was sold to the Ford Motor Co. UK. It is interesting to note that Ford UK had a computer before its parent company in the USA. If the World’s first commercial computer is defined as the first computer sold and used by a company for commercial work then, as can be seen from the time line above, Stewarts and Lloyds LEO II/3 was the World’s first commercial computer."
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