Texas Instruments TI-30 Handheld Electronic Calculator

This scientific handheld electronic calculator is has a black plastic case with an array of forty small rectangular brown plastic keys. These include ten digit keys, a decimal point key, a change sign key, a total key, and four arithmetic function keys. Further keys are for reciprocals, squares, square roots, off, on/clear, inverse functions, sines, cosines, tangents, degrees, a constant, enter exponent, common logarithms, natural logarithms, powers, pi, percentage, left parenthesis, and right parenthesis. The remaining brown keys are storage, recall, summation, and exchange. The marks indicating the function of keys are on the keyboard above the keys themselves.
Text above the keys reads: TI-30. Text behind this reads: TEXAS INSTRUMENTS. Behind the keyboard is an LED display that shows eight-digit positive and negative numbers.
The calculator has a jack for a recharger/adapter along the right edge. Text on the back reads in part: TEXAS INSTRUMENTS (/) electronic calculator. It also gives the serial number 4910048 and a date mark LTA2177. It also reads: ASSEMBLED IN USA. Below these marks is a compartment for a TI battery pack BP-5. A mark on it reads: LTA 5076. There are no screws for disassembling the calculator.
The calculator comes in a blue and white zippered plastic carrying case with belt loop. Also in the case is a manual with title Texas Instruments electronic slide-rule calculator TI-30 Owner’s Manual.
Compare 2007.0179.03. Also compare the SR-40, 1986.0988.049
According to Ball and Flamm, writing in 1997, the TI-30 was “probably the largest selling calculator of all time.”
Guy Ball and Bruce Flamm, The Complete Collector’s Guide to Pocket Calculators, Tustin, CA: Wilson/Barnett, 1997, p. 154. They give a 1976 price of $24.95.
Currently not on view
Object Name
electronic calculator
date made
Texas Instruments
Physical Description
plastic (case; keys; carrying case material)
metal (circuitry; zipper material)
paper (manual material)
overall: 1 3/8 in x 3 in x 5 3/4 in; 3.4925 cm x 7.62 cm x 14.605 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Computers & Business Machines
Handheld Electronic Calculators
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Computers
Handheld Electronic Calculators
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of John B. Priser
Additional Media

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