Universal Data Machine TKB 0001 Handheld Electronic Calculator

This handheld electronic calculator has a cream-colored case and an array of eighteen "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, the calculator has 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 several seconds), a clear entry key, and a red clear key. The eight-digit red LED display is behind the keyboard. An on/off switch and a socket for a cord for recharging the battery are at the top back. This example has no cord.
The back has four plastic feet. A paper sticker there reads in part: ELECTRONIC CALCULATOR (/) MODEL TKB 0001 (/) SERIAL: A 05777 (/) VOLTS: 7.2V, DC (/) MFG. IN UNITED STATES BY (/) Universal Data Machine (/) Corporation (/) 4611 N. Ravenswood St. (/) Chicago, Ill. 60640.
This is one of the earliest commercial handheld electronic calculators manufactured in the United States.
Compare to the Bowmar 901B (1986.0988.129) and the Craig 4501 (1987.0435.25).
Guy Ball and Bruce Flamm, The Complete Collector’s Guide to Pocket Calculators, Tustin, CA: Wilson/Barnett, 1997, p. 174. This source indicates that the calculator was advertised in late 1972 as selling for $99.95.
[Advertisement], Chicago Tribune, July 18, 1972, p. 13. This advertisement gives a regular price of $179.95 and a sale price of $149.95.
Currently not on view
Object Name
electronic calculator
date made
ca 1972
Universal Data Machine Corporation
Physical Description
plastic (case; keys; display cover material)
metal (circuitry; keyboard material)
paper (sticker material)
rubber (feet material)
overall: 1 1/2 in x 3 in x 5 1/2 in; 3.81 cm x 7.62 cm x 13.97 cm
place made
United States: Illinois, Chicago
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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