Texas Instruments Programmable 57 Handheld Electronic Calculator

This scientific calculator, introduced in 1977, is a less expensive version of the Texas Instruments programmable 58 and programmable 59 calculators. Programming is done entirely with number and function keys. A handheld electronic calculator, it has a black plastic case with an array of forty small rectangular plastic keys. In addition to ten digit keys, a decimal point key, a change sign key, a total key, four arithmetic function keys, a clear entry key, and clear key, the calculator has twenty-one further keys. Many keys (including some of the keys already specified) take on a dual function if the "2nd" key is pushed. This second function is indicated on the keyboard above the key.
Text above the keys reads: TI Programmable 57. Behind the keyboard is an on/off switch. Text left of this reads: TEXAS INSTRUMENTS. Behind the keyboard is an LED display that shows eight-digit positive and negative numbers and two-digit positive and negative exponents. The calculator has a jack for a recharger/adapter along the right edge. Text on the top of the back reads: TEXAS INSTRUMENTS (/) electronic calculator (/) SERIAL NO. (/) 398411 ATA3578 (/) ASSEMBLED IN USA. Below this is a battery compartment. A sticker on the battery pack reads: TEXAS INSTRUMENTS BATTERY PACK BP-7.
The object fits in a black plastic zippered case with a belt loop.
“Power of Its Pocket Calculators Increased by Texas Instruments,” New York Times, May 25, 1977, p. 89. Suggested list price of new Programmable 57 to be $79.95.
[Advertisement], Boston Globe, November 13, 1977, p. 71. TI Programmable 57 actually for sale at a price of $57.95.
[Advertisement], Los Angeles Times, December 10, 1977, p. E3. Programmable 57 in stock, holiday sale price $59.95.
[Advertisement], Boston Globe, September 7, 1978; p. 40. Regular price of TI Programmable 57 is $49.97, sale price $45.97, with $5 manufacturer’s rebate $39.97.
[Advertisement], Los Angeles Times, September 27, 1980, p. C14. TI programmable 57 on sale for $54.95.
[Advertisement], New York Times, November 7, 1982 p. 64. TI Programmable 57 selling for $32.95.
Currently not on view
Object Name
electronic calculator
date made
Texas Instruments
Physical Description
plastic (case; carrying case; keys material)
metal (circuitry; zipper 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
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
Credit Line
Gift of John B. Priser
Additional Media

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