Texas Instruments TI-1766 Handheld Electronic Calculator

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The TI-1766 was the first solar-powered calculator sold by Texas Instruments. The handheld electronic calculator has a silver-colored metal case and twenty-five rectangular plastic keys. These include ten digit keys, a decimal point key, a total key, four arithmetic function keys, four memory keys, an all clear key, a square root key, a percentage key, a change sign key, and a clear entry/clear key. A mark below the keys reads: LIGHT POWERED. Behind the keys is a solar cell. A mark behind this reads: TEXAS INSTRUMENTS TI-1766. Behind this is an eight-digit LCD display.
A sticker on the back of the case reads: TEXAS INSTRUMENTS (/) electronic calculator (/) SOLAR AND LIGHT POWER (/) SERIAL NO. 118063 (/) 093 (/) MADE IN JAPAN. Unscrewing the back of the calculator reveals only the back of the chip and the back of the circuit board.
The calculator has a gray plastic jacket, marked on the back: TEXAS INSTRUMENTS.
According to the online Datamath Museum, Texas Instruments began selling the TI-1766 in 1981, using a Toshiba chip. A second design appeared the next year and a third in 1983. This calculator does not precisely match any of these designs—the model number is just below the display, not below the keys. It resembles a machine shown in advertisements from 1985 and 1986. The calculator came to the museum in 1987.
[Advertisement], Los Angeles Times, November 28, 1985, p. Z11. Regular price $9.95, sale price $6.97.
[Advertisement], Washington Post, January 2, 1986, p. B10. The calculator had a regular price of $6.95 and a sale price of $5.90.
Currently not on view
date made
ca 1986
Texas Instruments
place made
Physical Description
metal (case; circuitry material)
plastic (keys; circuit board; wallet material)
paper (sticker material)
overall: 1/4 in x 2 1/2 in x 4 1/2 in; .635 cm x 6.35 cm x 11.43 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of John B. Priser
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Computers
Handheld Electronic Calculators
Computers & Business Machines
Data Source
National Museum of American History