National Semiconductor Novus Attache Handheld Electronic Calculator


In the mid-1970s, calculator manufacturers envisioned selling calculators in combination with other aids to personal finance. This handheld electronic calculator is designed to fit in an oversized checkbook case, along with checks and space for a credit card, a pen, and a tablet of paper. This example consists of only the calculator. It has a plastic case with no back other than a circuit board, fifteen rectangular plastic keys, and a plastic display cover. Metallic-looking stickers are on the keyboard and the right edge. The calculator has ten digit keys, four arithmetic function keys (the addition key also serves as an enter key), and a clear key. The on/off switch is above the keyboard on the left. A mark to the right of it reads: Attaché. The six-digit LED display behind this automatically inserts a decimal point in front of the two rightmost digits.

The back of this part of the calculator is a green plastic circuit board. A long battery compartment on the left side has a paper sticker that reads: NOVUS Consumer Products from (/) National Semiconductor (/) Serial No. 139477 Made in U.S.A.

Prices ranged from $29.95 down to $19.96.

Compare Unitrex CB8SL (1986.098.161) and Novus Attache (1986.0988.227).


Guy Ball and Bruce Flamm, The Complete Collector’s Guide to Pocket Calculators, Tustin, CA: Wilson/Barnett, 1997, p. 108. Give date of ca. 1975.

[Advertisement], Milwaukee Journal, November 7, 1975, p. 11. Lists this calculator as on sale for $21.88.

[Advertisement], Washington Post, December 3, 1975, p. E3. Advertised at price of $29.95.

[Advertisement], Westfield [N.J.] Leader, December 4, 1975, p. 28. Advertised as “calculator in a wallet.” Calculator sells with space for checkbook, credit card, and pen. Price $29.95.

[Advertisement], Southern Illinoisan, August 9, 1976, p. 30. On sale for $19.96.

Date Made: 1975-1976

Maker: National Semiconductor Corporation

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: United States

See more items in: Medicine and Science: Computers, Computers & Business Machines, Handheld Electronic Calculators


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Gift of John B. Priser

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 1986.0988.227Catalog Number: 1986.0988.227Accession Number: 1986.0988

Object Name: electronic calculator

Physical Description: plastic (case; keys; circuit board material)paper (stickers material)metal (circuitry material)Measurements: overall: 1/2 in x 3 1/2 in x 6 1/2 in; 1.27 cm x 8.89 cm x 16.51 cm


Record Id: nmah_1305757

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.