Craig 4501 Handheld Electronic Calculator

Craig 4501 Handheld Electronic Calculator

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Description
This handheld electronic calculator has a gray and charcoal case and an array of black "Klixon" keys. Such keys have a design trademarked by Texas Instruments and make a distinctive click when pressed. In addition to ten digit and one decimal point key, there are four keys for arithmetic functions. One serves as a total key for addition and another as a difference key for subtraction. The top of the keyboard has a constant switch, a D key for recalling the display (it turns off after fifteen seconds), a clear entry key, and a red clear key. The on/off switch is behind the clear key. A mark next to it reads: CRAIG. The eight-digit red LED display is behind this. A cord for recharging the battery attaches at the back of the top. (This example has no cord.)
The back has four plastic feet. A metal plate there gives operating instructions. Text near the bottom of it reads: CRAIG MODEL 4501 (/) SER NO 13330 (/) CRAIG CORPORATION COMPTON, CALIF. 90220 (/) MADE IN U.S.A. Stamped in ink on the bottom of the back are numbers which may be: 33 72 13. A mark scratched on the instruction plate reads: ZDENEK.
Ball & Flamm give a 1971 sale price as $239.95.
This calculator was made and sold as by Bowmar/Ali as the Bowmar 901B. Compare 1986.0988.129.
Reference:
Guy Ball and Bruce Flamm, The Complete Collector's Guide to Pocket Calculators, Tustin, CA: Wilson/Barnett, 1997, p.37, 63.
Location
Currently not on view
date made
ca 1972
maker
Bowmar/Ali
distributor
Craig Corporation
place made
United States
Physical Description
plastic (case; display window; keys material)
metal (circuitry; keyboard; plaque material)
Measurements
overall: 1 1/2 in x 3 in x 5 1/4 in; 3.81 cm x 7.62 cm x 13.335 cm
ID Number
1987.0435.25
accession number
1987.0435
catalog number
1987.0435.25
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

Comments

I still have my Craig 4501 calculator. I received it as a Christmas gift in 1971 or '72 from my parents. I was attending the University of Tulsa in Oklahoma as a STEM student. I recall bringing this calculator to my chemistry final. In an auditorium filled with fellow students I was singled out and my calculator confiscated with the decision that it was an unfair advantage. That's how rare pocket calculators were in the early '70's! This little machine only calculated basic calculations. Within a few years calculators were derigueur in most science and engineering classes. And today as I proctor undergraduate exams our college will provide students loaner calculators that are magnitudes more sophisticated than my confiscated Craig handheld. And little handheld calculators with the same abilities as my Craig 4501 are given away free as marketing gifts and can be used as key fobs! My Craig cost $110 in 1972. This is almost $700 in 2018 dollars. Wow!

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