Hewlett-Packard HP-33E Handheld Electronic Calculator

This programmable handheld electronic calculator has a black plastic case and thirty rectangular plastic keys. The model was introduced in May of 1978 and sold through 1982. 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, but no device for storing instructions from one session to the next. Behind the keyboard are an on/off switch, a program/run switch, and a ten-digit LED display. A mark on the front edge reads: hp HEWLETT • PACKARD 33E.
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. (/) 1933A74736. Another mark reads: MADE IN (/) U.S.A. The first four digits of the serial number indicate that the calculator was made in the thirty-third week of 1979.
The calculator has a brown and black zippered case.
This machine was a replacement for the HP-25. The series 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 1987.0435.10 (an HP-33C).
A September, 1978, advertisement lists the price of the calculator as $84.95. Mier-Jedrzejowicz gives a price of $100. An October, 1982, advertisement gives a sale price of $64.50.
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], Los Angeles Times, September 16, 1978, p. SD B9.
[Advertisement], New York Times, October 3, 1982, p. 66.
Currently not on view
Object Name
electronic calculator
date made
Hewlett-Packard Company
Physical Description
plastic (case; carrying case; keys; display cover material)
ceramic (display circuit board material)
metal (circuitry material)
cloth (carrying case lining material)
rubber (feet material)
calculator: 1 1/8 in x 2 3/4 in x 5 1/2 in; 2.8575 cm x 6.985 cm x 13.97 cm
carrying case: 5 cm x 9.5 cm x 16.5 cm; 1 31/32 in x 3 3/4 in x 6 1/2 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 John B. Priser
Additional Media

Visitor Comments

Add a comment about this object

**Please read before submitting the form**

Have a comment or question about this object to share with the community? Please use the form below. Selected comments will appear on this page and may receive a museum response (but we can't promise). Please note that we generally cannot answer questions about the history, rarity, or value of your personal artifacts.

Have a question about anything else, or would you prefer a personal response? Please visit our FAQ or contact page.

Personal information will not be shared or result in unsolicited e-mail. See our privacy policy.

Enter the characters shown in the image.