Alan Turing to be the face of new £50 note

Not directly retro computing related, but should be of interest. An announcement by the Bank of England:

Today, Bank of England Governor, Mark Carney, announced that Alan Turing will appear on the new £50 polymer note.

Published on 15 July 2019

Making the announcement at the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester, the Governor also revealed the imagery depicting Alan Turing and his work that will be used for the reverse of the note. The new polymer £50 note is expected to enter circulation by the end of 2021.


A good result, I think, although I don’t know who else was in the shortlist of 12 [see below]. All were scientists, so to get a photo of the Pilot ACE (1982 short video) on the new banknote is a big bonus - might have needed to wait until engineering came to be celebrated before seeing a computer depicted.

There’s a link to the recently mentioned Bendix G-15:

The chief designer of the G-15 was Harry Huskey, who had worked with Alan Turing on the ACE

From CHM’s page on Pilot ACE.:

After his wartime triumphs in code-breaking, Alan Turing joined Britain’s National Physical Laboratory in 1945 to develop electronic computers.

Turing created seven designs. Six remained, as intended, just experimental concepts. Design #5 was built in 1950 as Pilot ACE (Automatic Computing Engine), a precursor to the later full-scale ACE.

[Turns out the shortlist is in the article]


I think, putting the Pilot ACE on the note is a great idea. (Personally, I would have preferred some fine engravings of the machine… :slight_smile: )