Hewlett-Packard HP 48SX Scientific Expandable Handheld Electronic Calculator

This alphanumeric programmable graphing handheld calculator has a dark brown plastic case and an array of forty-nine rectangular plastic keys. Three of the keys are shift keys that determine the effect pressing other keys. The calculator is capable of solving and plotting a wide array of problems from arithmetic, trigonometry, algebra, statistics, and calculus. The screen is behind the keyboard. A mark behind that reads: hp HEWLETT (/) PACKARD (/) 48SX SCIENTIFIC EXPANDABLE.
An empty compartment for a battery pack is at the top of the back. Three corroding AAA batteries were removed from a compartment at the bottom and discarded. A mark above this compartment reads: MADE IN USA 3032A01521 (/) HEWLETT PACKARD 1989. The first four digits of the serial number indicate it was made in the thirty-second week of 1990. The calculator has four rubber feet.
The object was received with a zippered case and a spiral-bound instruction manual HP 48SX Scientific Expandable Owner’s Manual Volume 1. This example is Edition 3, published in May of 1990.
The calculator was used by a faculty member at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.
W.A.C. Mier-Jedrzejowicz, A Guide to HP Handheld Calculators and Computers , Tustin, California: Wilson/Burnett Publishing, 1997, pp. 98–99, 133.
Currently not on view
Object Name
electronic calculator
date made
Hewlett-Packard Company
Physical Description
metal (keyboard; circuitry; manual binding material)
plastic (case; keys; carrying case material)
paper (manual material)
overall: 6 cm x 15.2 cm x 21.5 cm; 2 3/8 in x 5 31/32 in x 8 15/32 in
calculator in carrying case: 2.8 cm x 10.3 cm x 18.8 cm; 1 3/32 in x 4 1/16 in x 7 13/32 in
manual: 3 cm x 15.2 cm x 21.5 cm; 1 3/16 in x 5 31/32 in x 8 15/32 in
place made
United States
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 Mark E. Kidwell

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