Sinclair Cambridge Handheld Electronic Calculator

This handheld electronic calculator has a plastic case and eighteen rectangular plastic keys. These include ten digit keys, a decimal point key, four arithmetic function keys, a total key, a clear/clear entry key, and a constant key. To the right on the top row of keys is an on/off switch.
Text behind the keyboard reads: sinclair (/) Cambridge. Behind this is an eight-digit purple LED display. According to the instructions, the device would actually carry out calculations on numbers ranging from 10-20 to 9.9999999 x 1079, although the display of such answers required careful manipulation.
The back of the calculator has a compartment for four AAA batteries. A mark on the lid to this compartment reads: Sinclair (/) MADE IN ENGLAND.
The calculator has a black hard plastic carrying case. This fits in Styrofoam packing.
For the instructions, see 1981.0403.01.2. These are dated 1974. Compare to the Sinclair Cambridge Scientific Calculator (1987.0435.18).
Newspaper advertisements date from 1974. By 1975, Sinclair had introduced a form of the calculator with memory.
[Advertisement], Chicago Tribune, February 19, 1974, p. C6. Sinclair Cambridge calculator advertised as previously priced at $99.95, on sale for $59.88.
[Advertisement], Washington Post, July 9, 1975, p. 31. A Sinclair Cambridge with memory (not this model) advertised as regularly priced at $39.95, on sale for $34.88.
David Renwick, “The Prince of Little: Inventor Clive Sinclair Thinking Big is Thinking Small,” Washington Post, October 17, 1984, p. D1.
Currently not on view
Object Name
electronic calculator
date made
Sinclair Radionics Ltd.
Physical Description
plastic (case; keys; carrying case; display cover material)
metal (circuitry material)
carrying case: 2 cm x 5.3 cm x 12.2 m; 25/32 in x 2 3/32 in x 40 1/32 ft
place made
United Kingdom: England
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 Cameron J. LaClair
Additional Media

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