Corvus 804 Handheld Electronic Calculator

This handheld electronic calculator has a plastic case that is bright orange on top and black on the bottom. The twenty-three plastic keys appear to have plastic stickers atop them—these are worn. The keys include ten digit keys, a decimal point key, a clear key, a total key (this is illegible), four arithmetic function keys, four memory keys, a square root key, and a percentage key. The on/off switch is in the upper left corner of the keyboard. Behind the keyboard is an eight-digit red LED display. A sticker behind this reads: CORVUS. An outlet for a power adapter is on the top edge.
The back has a battery compartment for a single battery. A sticker below this has stamped on it: 34856. Scratched on the sticker is the number 804.
The instrument has a black leather zippered case, which may not have come with it.
Images of other examples of the calculator that are available online indicate that it was made in Hong Kong.
For a brief time in the 1970s, Mostek Corporation sold electronic calculators through a subsidiary, Corvus Corporation of Dallas, Texas. Founded in 1969 as a spinoff of Texas Instruments, Mostek became a leading manufacturer of semiconductors. Some of its first products were chips used by the Japanese firm of Busicom in desktop electronic calculators. In 1970, Busicom introduced such a calculator that used only a single Mostek chip. Mostek became one of the world’s leading manufacturers of metal oxide semiconductor read only memories, before being acquired by United Technologies in 1979. According to trademark registration for Corvus, the term was first used in commerce referring to an electronic digital calculator in 1973. This is the latest Corvus calculator presently in the collections, dating from about 1976.
[Advertisement], Lincoln Star, August 26, 1976, p. 110. Corvus 804 calculator sells for $14.95.
[Advertisement], Texas Monthly, October, 1976, p. 47. This advertisement is for games that could be played on a Corvus 804 calculator.
For images of a similar Corvus calculator, see the website, accessed June 17, 2014.
Currently not on view
Object Name
electronic calculator
date made
ca 1976
Corvus Corporation
Physical Description
plastic (case; display cover; keys material)
paper (stickers material)
metal (circuitry material)
ceramic (display base material)
leather (case material)
overall: 1 1/8 in x 3 in x 5 3/8 in; 2.8575 cm x 7.62 cm x 13.6525 cm
place made
Zhonghua: Hong Kong
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Handheld Electronic Calculators
Computers & Business Machines
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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