National Semiconductor NS 4520 Handheld Electronic Calculator, the Scientist

In the mid-1970s, National Semiconductor Corporation made a series of “professional” calculators that were distributed under both the Novus and the National Semiconductor brand names. This handheld electronic calculator, dubbed the Scientist, sold under the National Semiconductor name. The calculator has a black plastic case, thirty-five rectangular plastic keys, and a plastic display cover. At the bottom of the keyboard are ten digit keys, a decimal point key, and a clear key. To the right of these is a column of four arithmetic function keys. The function of these keys is marked on the keys themselves. Also included among the marked keys is an enter key. The calculator used reverse Polish notation.
To the right and above these keys are a variety of function keys. The function of the keys is indicated on the keyboard. A mark above the keyboard reads: Scientist. Behind the keyboard is an eight-digit red LED display. A mark above this reads: National Semiconductor. The jack for a power adapter is along the back edge and a power switch is on the left edge.
The calculator has no separate battery compartment. A marked scratched on the case reads: MODEL (/) 4520. A sticker at the bottom of the back reads: Made in Hong Kong.
Compare the Novus Scientist (1986.0988.228).
Currently not on view
Object Name
electronic calculator
date made
ca 1976
National Semiconductor Corporation
Physical Description
plastic (case; display cover; keys material)
metal (circuitry material)
paper (sticker material)
overall: 1 in x 2 3/4 in x 6 in; 2.54 cm x 6.985 cm x 15.24 cm
place made
Zhonghua: Hong Kong
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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