Craig 4508 Handheld Electronic Calculator

This handheld electronic calculator has a gray and charcoal plastic case and an array of black "Klixon" keys. Such keys have a design trademarked by Texas Instruments and make a distinctive click when pressed. In addition to ten digit keys 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 percentage key, a clear entry key, and a red clear key. The on/off switch is behind the clear key and the ten-digit red LED display is behind this. A cord for recharging the battery attaches at the back of the top. (This example has no cord.) A mark between the keyboard and the display reads: CRAIG.
The back has four plastic feet. It has no battery compartment. A metal plate gives operating instructions. Text near the bottom of the plate reads: CRAIG 4508 (/) SER. 101874 (/) CRAIG CORPORATION COMPTON, CALIF. 90220 (/) MADE IN U.S.A. A tag at the bottom covering the screws reads: REMOVAL VOIDS WARRANTY.
According to an advertisement in the Chicago Tribune, the Craig 4508 was manufactured by Bowmar and sold by Bowmar as the MX-80.
Compare to 1987.0435.24, which has a very similar design but a smaller display.
Guy Ball and Bruce Flamm, The Complete Collector’s Guide to Pocket Calculators, Tustin, CA: Wilson/Barnett, 1997, p. 64.
Chicago Tribune, November 7, 1973, p. 16. Advertised as made by Bowmar and sold by Bowmar as the MX-80. The Craig 4508 sold for $105.88. Rechargeable with a percentage key.
Los Angeles Times, February 1, 1974, p. OC_B5. Craig 4508 advertised as having been marked down from an original $139.95 to $99.95 to a present price of $84.95.
Currently not on view
Object Name
electronic calculator
date made
Craig Corporation
Physical Description
plastic (case; display cover; keys material)
metal (circuitry material)
paper (sticker material)
overall: 1 1/2 in x 3 in x 5 1/4 in; 3.81 cm x 7.62 cm x 13.335 cm
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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