Corvus 312 Handheld Electronic Calculator

Description
This is an early example of a handheld electronic calculator manufactured by a subsidiary of Mostek Corporation, 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. For a brief time in the 1970s Mostek sold electronic calculators through a subsidiary named Corvus Corporation. According to trademark registration for Corvus, the term was first used in commerce referring to an electronic digital calculator in 1973. Advertisements for the Corvus 312 appeared in 1973 and 1974.
The calculator has a tan plastic case, a black keyboard, and twenty rectangular plastic keys. In addition to ten digit keys, a decimal point key, and a total key, there are four keys for arithmetic functions, as well as percentage, square root key, clear entry and clear keys. A tag above the keyboard reads: CORVUS. Behind this is the eight-digit red LED display.
A battery pack at the base of the back of the calculator would hold four batteries. This example has no batteries and no cover for the compartment. A tag above the battery compartment reads in part: CORVUS 312 (/) ELECTRONIC CALCULATOR. It also reads: SERIAL NO. (/) 312-149334. It also reads: POWER 8VDC 100 mA 115 (/) 4 “AA” batteries 115VAC (/) with adaptor. (/) CAUTION: Attempted repair (/) by unauthorized persons will (/) void warranty. (/) CORVUS (/) CORPORATION (/) Dallas, Texas.
Four screws hold the back of the calculator to the front. Taking off the back reveals two circuits, one of green plastic and the other (directly under the keys) apparently of glass. A mark on the smaller board reads: LEI-1. Chip not visible.
The calculator has a black plastic sleeve.
References:
[Advertisement], Los Angeles Times, November 11, 1973, p. OC_A2. Corvus 312 selling for $89.95.
[Advertisement]. Washington Post, December 22, 1973, p. D8. Corvis 312 selling for $89.95. Also selling the Covus 322 (with memory) for $99.95.
[Advertisement], Chicago Tribune, November 12, 1974, p. 8. Corvus 312, regularly $59.88, on sale for $39.88.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
electronic calculator
date made
1973-1974
maker
Corvus Corporation
Physical Description
plastic (case; keys; sleeve material)
metal (circuitry material)
glass (board material)
paper (sticker material)
rectangular (case shape)
Measurements
overall: 1 3/8 in x 3 in x 6 in; 3.4925 cm x 7.62 cm x 15.24 cm
place made
United States: Texas, Dallas
ID Number
1986.0988.102
catalog number
1986.0988.102
accession number
1986.0988
subject
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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