Bowmar 90506 Handheld Electronic Calculator

This handheld electronic calculator has a gray plastic case, display window, and keys. It has an array of nine digit keys above the zero and decimal bars. Four keys for arithmetic functions are right of these. At the top is a percentage key, a total key, a clear key, and an on/off switch. Behind this is a red eight-digit LED display. A mark at the top reads: Bowmar.
A plug for a power cord is on the right side. This example lacks a cord.
An "OPERATING OUTLINE" in raised characters on the back of the case gives instructions. A tag at the bottom reads: MODEL 90506 SERIAL (/) NUMBER 126277 (/) BOWMAR/ALI Inc. Acton, Mass. 01720 U.S.A. (/) Made in U.S.A. Patent Pending
Four screws hold the back of the case to the front. The case holds three circuit boards, one much smaller than the other two. The calculator has no separate battery compartment. This example lacks a battery or battery pack. A mark on the inside of the lid of the case reads: E905-020. A mark on the inside of the back of the case reads: E905-011.
A Bowmar 905 (not 90506) calculator, with a percentage key but a different BOWMAR mark, was advertised in the Washington Post in 1973. A January 28, 1973 advertisement gives a price of $99.99.
The form of the Bowmar trademark used on this calculator was registered by Bowmar Instrument Company of Fort Wayne, Indiana, on March 26, 1974. The date the mark was first used in commerce and the date of the trademark application are not given.
Compare the Craig 4507, 1986.0988.311.
Washington Post, January 28, 1973, p. K10.
Guy Ball and Bruce Flamm, The Complete Collector's Guide to Pocket Calculators, Tustin CA: Wilson/Barnett 1997, pp. 35–36.
Website of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Currently not on view
Object Name
electronic calculator
date made
ca 1974
Physical Description
plastic (case; keys; display window; circuit boards; feet material)
metal (circuitry material)
overall: 3/4 in x 3 in x 5 3/4 in; 1.905 cm x 7.62 cm x 14.605 cm
place made
United States
ID Number
accession number
catalog 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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