Texas Instruments TI Programmable 59 Handheld Electronic Calculator with Printer

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Description
This programmable scientific calculator, introduced in 1977, is more powerful than the TI 57 and TI 58, which were introduced at the same time. It has a black plastic case and an array of forty-five rectangular plastic keys, most of which can assume a dual function. The calculator could be operated manually by pressing keys. It could run a variety of preprogrammed routines from a module inserted in a compartment in the back of the case. Programs could also be entered using a set of keys and stored in one of ten locations (denoted by the letters A through E and A’ through E’). Finally, programs could be entered on magnetic cards inserted into a slot in the right side of the calculator. Fuller instructions for programming are given in a detailed manual that accompanied another example of the calculator (see 1990.3166.01).
A mark below the keyboard reads: TI Programmable 59 (/) Solid State Software. Behind the keyboard is a space that holds a handwritten label for a program. Behind this is a ten-digit display (it may also show eight digits and a two-digit positive or negative exponent). An on/off key is at the back and a jack for a power supply is on the right side.
A mark on the back of the calculator reads: TEXAS INSTRUMENTS (/) electronic calculator (/) SERIAL NO. (/) 6156506 ATA2978 (/) ASSEMBLED IN USA. Below this is a compartment for a battery pack (the battery pack is stored in the printer/security cradle). Below this is a compartment for a program module—the cover is stuck shut.
The calculator rests on a Texas Instruments PC-100A printer / security cradle. The printer could show the contents of the display at any time, list programs in program memory and the contents of data registers, print results from a running program, print each step of calculator operations, list program labels and locations, print alphanumeric messages, and plot data. The security cradle provided a secure place to leave the calculator and also allowed recharging of the calculator while the printer was in use.
The thermal printer, with its 2 1/4 inch (5.8 cm.) wide tape, is on the left, and the mounting bracket for the calculator is on the right. In front is a storage compartment for the battery pack from the calculator and for the cover of the mounting bracket (this cover is missing). A lock is in the middle. It has no key, but the key with object 1990.0609.02 will open it.
A sticker on the bottom of the object reads in part: TEXAS INSTRUMENTS (/) MODEL PC-100A (/) PRINT/SECURITY CRADLE. Text below this reads: SERIAL NO. 4984226 LTA3178.
This example of the printer/security cradle lacks a plug.
Compare 1990.0609.01 (another TI 59) and 1990.0609.02 (another printer, not the PC-100C), as well as documentation 1990.3166 describing these.
References:
“Power of Its Pocket Calculators Increased by Texas Instruments,” New York Times, May 25, 1977, p. 89. Suggested list price of new Programmable 59 (without printer) will be $299.95.
[Advertisement], Hartford Courant, February 6, 1977, p. 4C. PC-100A printer on sale for $199.95. Regular price $299.95. No mention of Programmable 59.
[Advertisement], Los Angeles Times, December 10, 1977, p. E3. Programmable 59 in stock, holiday sale price $219.95 (without printer).
[Advertisement], Los Angeles Times, December 9, 1978. TI Programmable 59 selling for $214.95, PC100-A printer $148.95.
[Advertisement], Los Angeles Times, Mar 8, 1980, p. C9. Inventory sale includes TI Programmable 59 selling for $209.95 and PC-100A printer selling for $179.95.
[Advertisement], New York Times, November 7, 1982 p. 64. TI Programmable 59 selling for $169.95. Rebate of $20 from manufacturer brings price down to $149.95. PC-100C printer also $149.95.
Location
Currently not on view
date made
1978
maker
Texas Instruments
Physical Description
plastic (case; printer case; keys material)
metal (circuitry material)
paper (paper tape; label material)
Measurements
calculator: 1 1/4 in x 3 1/2 in x 6 3/4 in; 3.175 cm x 8.89 cm x 17.145 cm
printer (calc attached): 4 in x 11 1/4 in x 10 1/2 in; 10.16 cm x 28.575 cm x 26.67 cm
ID Number
2007.0179.02
catalog number
2007.0179.02
accession number
2007.0179
Credit Line
Gift of Texas Instruments
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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