Electronic Calculators—DesktopDesktop Calculators with Chips
The bulky electronic calculators built in the 1960s included the circuits required to carry out the arithmetic they performed and the programs they ran. With the invention and rapidly decreasing price of integrated circuits, particularly chips, smaller, lighter, cheaper calculators were possible. Some of these, like the MITS 816, clearly were designed to sit on a desktop. Others might be carried about easily. Those listed here were too broad, too deep, or otherwise so designed so that they would not fit easily in the pocket. Most of them did not print results, although Unisonic, Texas Instruments, and Canon offered printing calculators.
The desktop electronic calculators described in the previous section were generally designed and built within a single country, be it Great Britain, the United States, or Japan. Calculators built with integrated circuits were quite different. Chips might be designed in one country, fabricated in another, and incorporated into calculators in a third. For example, a Radio Shack EC-2001 electronic calculator from the collections has a chip designed by the American firm of Texas Instruments and manufactured in the Philipines. The calculator was assembled in Taiwan and sold by the American company Radio Shack.
At times, the product of one manufacturer was sold by several firms, each placing their own brand name on it. The Unisonic Xl-101 and Lloyd's E680-3 are virtually identical to the Radio Shack EC-2001 just mentioned. The chips in the two former products apparently were made in the United States, with assembly of the calculators in Taiwan.
By the 1980s, Friden, Marchant, and NCR were out of the business of selling calculators. Monroe, one of few American calculating machine companies to make the transition to the electronic era successfully, sold imported devices. Hence the beginning of a new form of computing device signaled the end of an era.
"Electronic Calculators—Desktop - Desktop Calculators with Chips" showing 21 items.
Page 3 of 3
- By 1980 compact printing electronic calculators like this one offered an inexpensive alternative for businesses and individuals doing arithmetic. The compact, lightweight, printing desktop electronic calculator has an array of nine digit keys with a 0 key, a decimal point key, and a percentage key below this. Further keys are for arithmetic functions, memory, and cancellation.The print switch is directly in front of the 11-digit display. Behind the display is the printing unit. It's paper tape is 4 cm. (1.5 inches) wide.The printer uses regular paper.
- The device is tagged on the front: Canon P7-D. A mark stamped into the base at the back reads: 795333. A plastic tag in front of this reads: Canon P7-D. It also reads: JAPAN. The calculator operates either from nickel-cadmium batteries or through an adapter. No adapter is present.
- The Japanese firm of Canon Incorporated introduced a printing electronic calculator, the P10-D, in 1978. This is a lighter version of that machine, with a narrower paper tape, that apparently was introduced in the United States by early 1980. It sold for about $75. In mid-1980 Canon advertised that it sold five versions of its “printer display” or “PalmPrinter” electronic calculators. At least three of these, including the P7-D, were still on sale in 1985.
- [Advertisement], Popular Science, 212, #3, March 1978, p.23. This is an advertisement for the P10-D.
- [Advertisement], Los Angeles Times, January 17, 1980, p. E5.
- [Advertisement], Chicago Tribune, January 20, 1980, p. N A10.
- Suzanne Slesin, “Home Beat,” The New York Times, January 31, 1980, p. C3.
- [Advertisement], Popular Science, 216, #7, July, 1980, pp. 38–39.
- [Advertisement], Los Angeles Times, May 17, 1985, p. D5.
- Currently not on view
- date made
- ca 1980
- Canon, Inc.
- ID Number
- catalog number
- accession number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center