Whilst the Museum is closed and our collections unable to be seen by visitors, we have created a weekly virtual museum with an Object of the Week feature from our collections.
Object of the Week : P is for Prince Philip
On 17th May 1963, the Duke of Edinburgh came to Boreham Wood to visit Elliott Automation. Sadly we don’t appear to have any photos of this event, but we do have the special press pass issued to local journalist Rod Brewster, by Buckingham Palace, in the collection. The Duke is believed to have arrived by helicopter, landing on what is now to be the Sky Studios site.
Elliott Automation was an early computer company of the 1950s–60s. Its roots can be traced back to the 18th Century from a firm of instrument makers founded by William Elliott in London. The research laboratories were set up in Boreham Wood in 1946 and the first Elliott 152 computer appeared in 1950.
The company was influential and employed a great deal of local people and some prominent computer scientists.
In 1967, Elliott Automation was merged into the English Electric company and in 1968 the computer part of the company was taken over by International Computers and Tabulators (ICT). This company was renamed Marconi Elliott Computer Systems Limited in 1969 and GEC Computers Limited in 1972. The remainder of Elliott Automation which produced aircraft instruments and control systems, was retained by English Electric. Almost 50 years after Prince Phillip’s visit, the building was demolished in 2012.
Keeping with the Prince Philip theme, the Museum has this Royal Wedding souvenir programme from 1947. This is of course the wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Philip Mountbatten, which took place on 20th November 1947 at Westminster Abbey.