The latest in our series of early technologies from Michael Bennett-Levy’s collection
looks at the world’s first commercial business computer, the LEO II/3. The LEO II (short for Lyons Electronic Office) was the successor to the LEO I, which was designed by Oliver Standingford and Raymond Thompson of J. Lyons and Co. – one of the UK’s leading catering and food manufacturing companies in the first half of the 20th century.
In the latest installment of our video series looking at Michael Bennett-Levy’s collection of early technology, Laurence Fisher from Bonham's introduces us to a 1938 HMV type 905 table model television and wireless that was a wonder of engineering for its time. The exterior of the HMV model 905 television is a three-quarter figured burr walnut veneered case with molded edge housing a 7-inch screen. Click through for a closer look at this fascinating slice of history which has been restored with authentic pre-war era components and is in complete working order... and there's also a word of warning to those interested in dabbling in pre-war televisons - TV repair can be a lethal occupation.
Michael Bennett-Levy's extraordinary collection of early technologies
went under the hammer at Bonhams in London on Wednesday with 90% of the 758 lots on offer sold for a total of £683,384. A tidy sum no doubt, but having had the opportunity to examine the treasure trove closely, and the benefit of speaking at length to Bennett-Levy about the significance of key items, we can't help but conclude that many pieces were a steal for shrewd investors. The largest privately held collection of early televisions in the world - including 26 pre-war sets - made up a large slice of the auction and in the first of a series of interviews, Michael Bennett-Levy talks to Gizmag about outstanding items in his collection, starting with the much sought after Teleavia type P111, a rare 1958 console-stand television by Citroën DS designer Flaminio Bertroni that was not only a hallmark in style, but also one of the earliest examples of high-definition TV.
The freight train progress of technology during the last century has masked the true value of landmark specimens of mankind’s technological triumphs. First-of-a-kind devices were quickly superseded and hence soon regarded as useless in comparison to newer, better equipment. Accordingly, we believe an auction to be held in London this week represents some of the finest medium-term investments we have ever seen, with a likelihood of their value increasing dramatically once historical perspective is restored. The auction includes 758 examples of almost all forms of early technology including many firsts – and the largest privately held collection of early televisions in the world.