Hewlett-Packard HP-33C Handheld Electronic Calculator

This programmable handheld electronic calculator has a black plastic case and thirty rectangular plastic keys. The model was introduced in July of 1979 and sold through 1983. Most keys take on different meanings if the gold "f" shift key or the blue "g" shift key is pressed. The calculator has limited programming capabilities. It also has “continuous memory,” which allows limited storage of programs when the calculator is turned off. Behind the keyboard are an on/off switch, a program/run switch, and an LED display. A mark on the front edge reads: hp HEWLETT • PACKARD 33C.
The socket for the battery adapter is along the top edge. The battery compartment is at the top of the back. The back also has four rubber feet. Text on the back reads: SERIAL NO. (/) 2020S37048. Another mark reads: MADE IN (/) SINGAPORE. The first four digits of the serial number indicate that the calculator was made in the twentieth week of 1980.
The calculator has a black zippered case.
This device is part of a series that included the HP-31E, the HP-32E, the HP-33E, the HP-33C, the HP-34C, the HP-37E, the HP-38E and the HP-38C. Compare 1987.0435.09 (an HP-25) and 1987.0435.11 (an HP-33E).
A December 1980, advertisement lists the price of the calculator as $79.95. Mier-Jedrzejowicz gives a price fluctuating between $120 and $65.
W.A.C. Mier-Jedrzejowicz, A Guide to HP Handheld Calculators and Computers , Tustin, California: Wilson/Burnett Publishing, 1997, pp. 56–58, 132.
David G. Hicks, The Museum of HP Calculators, http://www.hpmuseum.org/, accessed July, 2014.
[Advertisement], Washington Post, December 11, 1980, p. A43.
Currently not on view
Object Name
electronic calculator
date made
Hewlett-Packard Company
Physical Description
plastic (case; keys; display cover; carrying case material)
metal (keyboard; circuitry material)
ceramic (display circuit board material)
calculator: 3 cm x 7.4 cm x 14 cm; 1 3/16 in x 2 29/32 in x 5 1/2 in
carrying case: 3.8 cm x 10 cm x 20.5 cm; 1 1/2 in x 3 15/16 in x 8 1/16 in
place made
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 John B. Priser
Additional Media

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