Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 142,850 pages of information and 228,791 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Elliott Automation

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Elliott Automation was an early computer company of the 1950s–60s in the United Kingdom, tracing its descent from a firm of instrument makers Elliott Bros founded in London around 1800. The research laboratories, based at Borehamwood, were originally set up in 1946. The first Elliott 152 computer appeared in 1950.

The well-known computer scientist, Sir Tony Hoare was an employee from August 1960 for 8 years during which time he wrote an ALGOL 60 compiler for the Elliott 803. He also worked on an operating system Elliott 503 Mark II for the computer, although this was less successful and abandoned along with "over thirty man-years of programming effort."

John Lansdown pioneered the use of computers as an aid to planning; making perspective drawings on an Elliott 803 computer in 1963, modeling a building's lifts and services, plotting the annual fall of daylight across its site, as well as authoring his own computer aided design applications.

  • 1967 Elliott Automation merged with the English Electric Co; the first deal arranged by the Industrial Reorganization Corporation.
  • In 1968 this group was taken over by International Computers and Tabulators (ICT); this marriage was forced by the British Government, who believed that the U.K. required a strong national computer company. The combined company was called International Computers Ltd. (ICL).

Sources of Information

[1] Wikipedia