National Semiconductor Mathematician Handheld Electronic Calculator

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In addition to selling calculators under the Novus name, National Semiconductor Company sold models with the same capabilities but somewhat different styling under its own name. This handheld electronic calculator has the same capabilities as the Novus Mathematician.
The calculator has a black plastic case, thirty-two rectangular plastic keys, and a plastic display cover. The function of the keys is written on the keyboard rather than being marked on the keys themselves.
At the bottom of the keyboard are ten digit keys, a decimal point key, and a clear key. To the right of these is a column of four arithmetic function keys. Depressing the F key in the upper left corner of the keyboard allows two of these keys to be used as memory keys, another for entering degrees, and the fourth for entering radians.
Above these keys are an enter key and a variety of function keys, some of which also can assume more than one function. These include two memory keys, a change sign key, a pi key, a square root / square key, a log key, an exchange key, a power key, an exponent key, a natural log key, an inverse key, and keys for trigonometric and inverse trigonometric functions. A mark above the keyboard reads: Mathematician.
Problems are entered into the Mathematician using reverse Polish notation.
Behind the keyboard is an eight-digit red LED display. It has no provision for displaying results in scientific notation. A mark above the display reads: National Semiconductor. The jack for a power adapter is along the back edge and a power switch is on the left edge.
A battery compartment opens on the back of the calculator. A faint mark molded into the plastic near the top of the back reads: MADE IN MALAYSIA (/) P641. This particular example lacks both a cover for the battery compartment and any stickers identifying the model and serial number.
Compare the Novus Mathematician (1986.0988.277) and the HP-21 (1987.0435.08).
[Advertisement], Steubenville [Ohio] Herald-Star, September 7, 1977, p. 11. National Semiconductor Mathematician is on sale for $13.88.
Currently not on view
date made
National Semiconductor Corporation
place made
Physical Description
plastic (case; keys; display cover material)
metal (circuitry material)
overall: 1 1/4 in x 2 3/4 in x 6 in; 3.175 cm x 6.985 cm x 15.24 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


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