Cambridge-based Acorn Computers was set up in 1978 by Chris Curry – who had previously worked for Clive Sinclair – and Hermann Hauser. The company produced the BBC Micro, a personal computer which could be found in schools across Britain in the 1980s.
Acorn won a contract with the BBC as part of the corporation’s computer literacy project. The BBC wanted a microcomputer around which to base their BBC2 series The Computer Programme. Despite being built in just a week, the Acorn prototype won.
Acorn also produced the budget Acorn Electron and the award-winning Acorn Archimedes.
The company was broken up in 1998 but left an important legacy and its subsidiary, ARM Holdings, continues to design technology that is dominant in the mobile phone market.