Whilst most people have probably heard of Alan Turing and the work of Bletchley Park in breaking the German codes during WWII it is equally probable that many fewer have heard of Tommy Flowers.
Whilst it was true that Alan Turing provided the theoretical brilliance and was subsequently shabbily treated by the nation, Tommy Flowers was the man that turned theoretical concepts into physical reality, creating the worlds first electronic computer, Colossus.
Colossus, the world’s first electronic computer, had a single purpose: to help decipher the Lorenz-encrypted (Tunny) messages between Hitler and his generals during World War II.
Tommy Flowers spent eleven months designing and building Colossus at the Post Office Research Station, Dollis Hill, in North West London. After a functional test, Colossus Mk 1 was delivered to Bletchley Park in late December 1943 / January 1944, was assembled there by Harry Fensom and Don Horwood , and was working in early February 1944.
Seventy years after the invention of the first programmable computer, BT has unveiled a tribute to computing pioneer Tommy Flowers.