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British Tabulating Machine Limited

Information about The British Tabulating Machine Limited (BTM)

The British Tabulating Machine Company Ltd was originally formed in 1902 as the Tabulator Limited, but was renamed to the British Tabulating Machine Company in 1909. The company initially sold equipment made by Hollerith, but started to produce its own machines when it moved from London to Letchworth in Hertfordshire in 1920.

The company began producing lathes during the Second World War when the availability of German-made machines was limited. The company held a licence from the Tabulating Machine Company in America, later to become IBM. The lathes were designed by BTM but manufactured by the Royal Ordinance Factory (ROF) with sales undertaken by EH Jones of Edgware Road in London NW9.

The company also produced equipment for Bletchley Park during World War II. In particular, they were called upon to design and manufacture the bombe, which had initially been conceived of by Alan Turing.

The company merged with Powers-Somas in 1959 to form International Computers and Tabulators Limited, which ultimately became part of ICL.

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Lot FS20/975: ROF, the BTM Watchmaker's Lathe

ROF, the BTM Watchmaker's Lathe for EH Jones, a 1950s lathe in the original wooden box, complete with various 6mm chucks and collets.

Estimate: £120 - £140
Realised: £340