Texas Instruments Programmable 58 Handheld Electronic Calculator

This programmable scientific calculator, introduced in 1977, is more powerful than the TI 57 and less so than the TI 59, 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’). Fuller instructions for programming are given in a detailed manual that accompanied the calculator (for an example, see 1990.3166.01).
A mark below the keyboard reads: TI Programmable 58 (/) Solid State Software. Behind the keyboard is a silver-colored space to hold labels relating to programs on a programming module. Behind this is a ten-digit display (it may also show five 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. (/) 0095974 1378ACH (/) ASSEMBLED IN HOLLAND. Below this is a compartment for a battery pack. The lid is labeled: TEXAS INSTRUMENTS (/) BATTERY PACK BP-1A. Below this is a compartment for a program module. The module inside is labeled: MASTER (/) LIBRARY (/) MODULE (/) -1-.
The calculator has a black zippered case with a belt loop.
Compare 1987.0435.04 and 2007.0179.01. (both examples of the TI Programmable 58C).
“Power of Its Pocket Calculators Increased by Texas Instruments,” New York Times, May 25, 1977, p. 89. Suggested list price of new Programmable 58 to be $124.95.
[Advertisement], Los Angeles Times, December 10, 1977, p. E3. Programmable 58 in stock, holiday sale price $99.95.
Eli Maor, “A Summer Course with the TI57 Programmable Calculator,” Mathematics Teacher, 73 #2 (February 1980), pp. 99-106. Describes two experimental summer courses, one for students eight to eleven years old and the other for students twelve to fifteen, that used TI Programmable 58 calculators.
Currently not on view
Object Name
electronic calculator
date made
Texas Instruments
Physical Description
plastic (case; keys; carrying case material)
metal (circuitry material)
overall: 1 1/2 in x 3 in x 6 3/8 in; 3.81 cm x 7.62 cm x 16.1925 cm
place made
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
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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