Corvus 400 Handheld Electronic Calculator

This handheld electronic calculator was 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 under the name Corvus. 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 400 appeared in 1974.
The calculator has a cream-colored plastic case and nineteen rectangular plastic keys. These include ten digit keys, a decimal point key, and a total key. Right of these is a column of four function keys. The top row of the keyboard includes an on/off switch, a percentage key, an N (average) key, and a clear key. Behind they keyboard is an eight-digit red LED display. A tag behind the display reads: CORVUS.
On the back at the top is a compartment for four N batteries. A sticker below the battery compartment reads in part: CORVUS 400 (/) ELECTRONIC CALCULATOR. It also reads: SERIAL NO. (/) 400-0133577. It also reads: POWER 6VDC 75 mA 115 (/) 4 “N” Cell batteries (/) CAUTION: Attempted repair (/) by unauthorized persons will (/) void warranty. (/) CORVUS (/) CORPORATION (/) Dallas, Texas.
The calculator fits into a cardboard box, which shows the device on the front cover. A mark on the top and sides of the box reads: 400 (/) CORVUS (/) PERSONAL (/) POCKET (/) CALCULATOR. A paper sticker on one end reads: Walgreens (/) UBBA (/) 38.95.
[Advertisement], Chicago Tribune, October 1, 1974, p. 6. Here several Corvus calculators are advertised. The Corvus 400, regularly $44.95, is advertised as on sale for $34.88.
On the founding of Mostek, see an interview with Mostek executive Richard Petritz at
For an interview with Mostek executive Robert Palmer, see
Currently not on view
Object Name
electronic calculator
date made
ca 1974
Corvus Corporation
Physical Description
plastic (case; keys; display cover material)
paper (box; sticker material)
metal (circuitry material)
overall: 3/4 in x 3 in x 4 7/8 in; 1.905 cm x 7.62 cm x 12.3825 cm
place made
United States: Texas, Dallas
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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