Thomas Harold Flowers

Managing Real Estate Broker with Fathom Realty PB00068179

Thomas Harold Flowers was born in Poplar, London, England back in 1905. He was an apprentice in mechanical engineering at the Royal Arsenal, Woolwich but he also took evening classes at the University of London earning a degree in electrical engineering.

In 1926, he worked at the telecommunication branch of the General Post Office. In 1941, he was contacted by the War Department to help Alan Turing who was working at Bletchley Park to help break the German Enigma code. After the war, he returned to working for the General Post Office at their research station where he was placed in charge of the Highgate Wood Telephone Exchange. Later he was head of the advanced development at Standard Telephones and Cables Ltd. He died in 1998, he was 92.

What you may not know about Thomas is that he designed and built Colossus, the world’s first programmable electronic computer.

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Comments (20)

Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

Good morning, James Dray so, we have Thomas Flowers to blame for beginning all of what we have today that we rely so heavily on....

Jan 11, 2020 02:50 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning James. Thomas never knew how dependent we would be. Enjoy your day!

Jan 11, 2020 04:01 AM
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

I have rad a lot about the history of computers but I was not familiar with his name.

Jan 11, 2020 04:51 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello James - I know the name Alan Turning because of the movie, The Imitation Game but I don't recall Mr. Flowers.  There is seemingly no end to learning...

Jan 11, 2020 05:20 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

A bit of history about computer development that I'd had no clue about until this morning, James.

Jan 11, 2020 05:30 AM
Raymond E. Camp
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Ontario, NY
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester

Good morning James,

And then along came Al Gore!

Make yourself an astonishing day.

Jan 11, 2020 05:31 AM
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning James. What a fascinating read this was and an incredible guy.

Jan 11, 2020 06:15 AM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


What a great bit of history, and something we now take for granted.  Cheers!  A

Jan 11, 2020 07:40 AM
Brian England
Vacasa - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

He sounds like a brilliant man and computers are definitely the norm in today's world.

Jan 11, 2020 07:43 AM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good morning James Dray - he really had a great mind and shaped our future.

Jan 11, 2020 07:58 AM
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Fathom Realty Washington LLC - Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!

I've seen pictures of that computer and the name fits the size of that machine James Dray 

Have a super Saturday!

Jan 11, 2020 08:07 AM
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi James and Happy Saturday. We all owe this gentleman a debt of gratitude. How in the world would we live without our computers!

Jan 11, 2020 10:24 AM
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

And the Germans thought their code was unbreakable. Thomas, Alan and others were happy to prove them wrong.

Jan 11, 2020 02:53 PM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi James Dray - I bet that was the right name for that computer also!  They needed a whole room cooled down for the computing power that can be found in an Apple watch!

Jan 11, 2020 03:43 PM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams Fox Cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Hi James,  Thanks for sharing this story which is the background to what so many of us depend on  daily.  

Jan 11, 2020 10:18 PM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

Definitely a life well lived!  Thanks for sharing - 

Jan 12, 2020 05:59 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi James:

That was another interesting read. It's amazing how far computers have come in our lifetimes - size, speed, cost, and what they can do.


Jan 12, 2020 11:27 AM
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Ward County Notary Services - Minot, ND
Owner of Ward Co. Notary Services, retired Realtor

Very interesting James Dray . I've seen vintage telephone equipment and in some aspects I can see that this may have been a small step in development but it sure led to a huge revolution.

Jan 13, 2020 06:54 AM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

Wow! His invention has had great and world-wide impact! Sure, it needed refining, I am sure, but it was a gigantic first.

Jan 13, 2020 10:14 AM
MichelleCherie Carr Crowe Just Call...408-252-8900
Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty - San Jose, CA
Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years

I did not now that Thomas designed and built Colossus, the world’s first programmable electronic computer.

Jan 14, 2020 12:06 PM
James Dray

Well young lady, now you do

Jan 14, 2020 02:05 PM

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