Bowmar MX35 Handheld Electronic Calculator

This four-function handheld electronic calculator has a black plastic case, and an array of ten digit keys and a decimal point key, all black. In addition, it has memory, percentage, clear/clear entry, and total keys, as well as four arithmetic function keys, all of these are blue. The on/off switch is to the right on the top row of keys. Behind the keyboard is an eight-digit LED display. A black plastic cover fits over the keyboard and display. A mark behind the display reads: Bowmar. A sticker behind this reads: MEMORY. A plug for the power supply is on the right.
The back of the calculator has a case for three AA batteries at the top. A sticker at the bottom reads: MODEL MX35 SERIAL (/) NUMBER 144885 (/) Bowmar/ ALI Inc. Acton, Mass (/) Patent Pending. A stamp on this sticker reads: ASSEMBLED (/) IN MEXICO.
Compare 1986.0988.206.
Bowmar introduced a calculator in 1971, and had successful sales in 1972 and 1973. Assembly began in Mexico in mid-1974. The company went bankrupt in February 1975 and stopped building calculators in the middle of that year. By 1976 distribution of Bowmar calculators had been taken over by Continental Microsystems.
An advertisement in the New York Times in September 1974 indicates that the Bowmar MX35 was then on sale for $54.95. An advertisement in the Chicago Tribune December 7, 1975, describes a buyout sale in which the Bowmar MX35 sold for $29.99, below the original dealer's cost of $45.50.
Chicago Tribune, December 7, 1975, p. 30.
New York Times, September 17, 1974, p. 7.
Currently not on view
date made
place made
Physical Description
plastic (overall material)
overall: 7/8 in x 2 3/4 in x 5 3/4 in; 2.2225 cm x 6.985 cm x 14.605 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of John B. Priser
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Computers
Handheld Electronic Calculators
Computers & Business Machines
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center


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