Texas Instruments SR-10 Handheld Electronic Calculator

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Description
This is an example of the first model of a scientific calculator marketed by Texas Instruments. The handheld electronic calculator has a black and ivory-colored plastic case with an array of twenty-three plastic keys. Twenty-one of these are square, the 0 and the total keys are rectangular. In addition to ten digit keys, a decimal point key, a total key, and four arithmetic function keys, the calculator has a reciprocal key, a square key, a square root key, a change sign key, an enter exponent key, a clear key, and a clear display key. Text above the keyboard, just below the display and to the left, reads: SR10. Behind the keyboard is a 12-digit LED display. Numbers larger than eight digits are displayed in scientific notation. A mark behind the display reads: TEXAS INSTRUMENTS. An on/off switch is right and slightly above this.
The back edge of the calculator has a jack for a recharger/adapter. A sticker on the back gives extensive instructions. It also gives the serial number SR10 275812.
Unscrewing screws near the top and bottom of the back reveals the workings of the calculator. It has a total of five chips. The largest of these is marked TMS 0120 NC (/) C7333. This is a TMS0120 chip, manufactured in mid-1973. Also in the case is space for three AA nickel-cadmium batteries.
The leather zippered case has both a loop and a hook for attaching the calculator to a belt. It also holds an instruction pamphlet entitled Texas Instruments electronic slide rule calculator SR-10, copyrighted 1973. A warranty registration on the inside of the back page indicates these instructions were originally sold with an SR-10 calculator with serial number 170334, purchased on September 27, 1973.
Texas Instruments described the SR-10 as an “electronic slide rule calculator,” hence the “SR” in the name. The first version of the device, introduced in 1972, did not have the mark SR-10 on the keyboard. The second version (introduced 1973) and the third (introduced 1975) did. This is an example of the first version. According to Ball & Flamm, it initially sold for $149.95.
Compare 1986.0988.351, 1986.0988.354, and 1986.0988.356.
References:
Guy Ball and Bruce Flamm, The Complete Collector’s Guide to Pocket Calculators, Tustin, CA: Wilson/Barnett, 1997, p. 153.
The online Datamath Museum includes versions of the SR-10 from 1972, 1973, and 1975.
Location
Currently not on view
Date made
1972
date made
1973
maker
Texas Instruments
place made
United States: Texas, Dallas
Physical Description
plastic (case, keys material)
metal (circuitry, zipper material)
paper (instruction manual, sticker material)
Measurements
overall: 1 1/2 in x 3 in x 6 1/4 in; 3.81 cm x 7.62 cm x 15.875 cm
ID Number
1986.0988.354
catalog number
1986.0988.354
accession number
1986.0988
Credit Line
Gift of John B. Priser
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Computers
Work
Handheld Electronic Calculators
Computers & Business Machines
Family & Social Life
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

Comments

It was 1973 at the University of Florida in Gainesville. I was suffering through P Chem, Quantitative Analysis and Physics and wandering campus feeling superior because I had a slide rule on my belt. Enter this miracle called the SR-10. Those of us who had one could run circles around the now tragically impaired slide rule crowd. There was talk of making the SR-10 illegal as they were "unfair" I heard the Univ of Fla. Purchased about 30 of the SR-10 models to loan out to students for tests to level the playing field... Fond memories. I got a new one on Ebay a few years back - It runs beautifully. Now having nearly every major generation of processor and DOS through every generation of Windows based machine - oh my how life has changed. We now live via cloud based databases with proprietary software and real-time decision support. over 95 % of the typing is now voice recognition.,, pretty much every issue can be algorithmized. I WILL NEVER FORGET MY AMAZEMENT WHEN THE LIGHTBULB TUNED ON WITH REALIZATION OF WHAT THE SR-10 HAD STARTED.
"Are the battery packs still available for the SR-10 calculator, if not, can I purchase 3 AA NiCd batteries and make them fit?"
"My brother owned one of these his second year of high school, with the charging unit - bought it for a whopping $119.00, and he was SO proud of it. The LEDs would automatically go dark after about two minutes to preserve battery power, and eventually it had to be plugged in 100% of the time to keep it running. Did the four primary types of math, and introduced me to the concept of square roots long before learning it in 5th grade."

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