Category Archives: LEO

LEO tape

IMG_20150806_174327679Recently came across a reel of tape for sale that purported to come from a LEO computer.

If you are not familiar with the LEO, check out the wikipedia article, you’ll be glad you did. The LEO was the first general business computer and it was developed by J. Lyons and Co. Lyons who ran a chain of tea rooms (selling their own cakes) and needed help with the logistics of supplying food to their shops.

I can’t really stress how important and crazy this is. A chain of cake shops developed the business computer. Imagine hearing that Mac Donald’s had developed the communication satellite to aid message passing between their restaurants or the the Coca Cola Company pioneered the helicopter. It’s that left-field.

So, having been familiar with the story of the LEO machines, when this tape came up for sale, I had to try and get it.

It’s on an aluminium reel approximately 10.5 inches in diameter and kept in a plastic case. You rotate the handle to removed the cover and get to the reel. It’s very 1960’s and I like it immensely.

I haven’t been able to find an information saying that any LEOs survive which is something of a shame. I hope I’m wrong and that there is one in a barn somewhere.