Hewlett-Packard HP 19C Handheld Electronic Calculator

This handheld electronic calculator is programmable and prints on a paper tape. It has thirty-one rectangular plastic keys. Most keys have three functions, one indicated on the keytop, one (in blue) on the front edge of the key and one (in gold) on the keyboard in back of the keys. Behind the keyboard are two switches and a red LED display. Behind this is the printing mechanism that displays up to eight digits of a result. A mark at the front of the calculator reads: hp HEWLETT-PACKARD 19C. A mark at the bottom of the keyboard reads: Continuous Memory. This phrase signifies that programs remained stored in the calculator after the device was turned off.
Two stickers are on the upper part of the back of the calculator. One reads: HEWLETT - PACKARD (/) 5V 1W (/) MADE IN U.S.A. The other has conversion factors between common and metric units for length, area, volume, mass, energy, force, power, pressure and temperature. A battery compartment is below the sticker. A battery pack with four batteries was removed from the compartment. A mark on the case below the compartment reads: 1802A00967. The first four digits of this number indicate that the device was made in the second week of 1978. The model was introduced in 1977 and sold through 1979.
The calculator has a black leather, lined, zippered case. It had a list price of $345 which declined over time.
W.A.C. Mier-Jedrzejowicz, A Guide to HP Handheld Calculators and Computers , Tustin, California: Wilson/Burnett Publishing, 1997, pp. 54, 132.
David G. Hicks, The Museum of HP Calculators, http://www.hpmuseum.org/, accessed July, 2014.
[Advertisement], Washington Post, February 9, 1978, p. MD7. This ad from the University of Maryland Book Exchange gives a list price of $345 and a sale price of $295.
Currently not on view
Object Name
electronic calculator
date made
Hewlett-Packard Company
Physical Description
plastic (case; display screen; keys; covers material)
metal (circuitry material)
rubber (feet material)
ceramic (display board material)
overall: 6.3 cm x 11 cm x 18.2 cm; 2 15/32 in x 4 11/32 in x 7 5/32 in
place made
United States
ID Number
accession number
catalog 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
Additional Media

Visitor Comments

Add a comment about this object

**Please read before submitting the form**

Have a comment or question about this object to share with the community? Please use the form below. Selected comments will appear on this page and may receive a museum response (but we can't promise). Please note that we generally cannot answer questions about the history, rarity, or value of your personal artifacts.

Have a question about anything else, or would you prefer a personal response? Please visit our FAQ or contact page.

Personal information will not be shared or result in unsolicited e-mail. See our privacy policy.

Enter the characters shown in the image.