Wang 700 Electronic Calculator


In March of 1968, An Wang saw a prototype of Hewlett-Packard’s HP9100 programmable desktop calculator. This machine reduced the task of finding many scientific functions from programming to pushing a key. In response, Wang Laboratories announced plans for a new set of calculators for the scientific and engineering communities, the series 700 advanced programming calculator. The instrument came on the market in mid-1969.

A large keyboard at the front of the machine includes keys for entering digits, carrying out arithmetic operations, and finding squares, square roots, and reciprocals. A separate key enters the number pi. Another set of keys performs operations for both logarithms and exponents in base e and base 10. Special function keys above the digit keys are set for trigonometric and hyperbolic functions. A tape cassette on the right above the keyboard allows for entering programs via magnetic tape. Left of the tape drive is a Nixie tube display that shows up to twelve digits in two registers, followed by the sign of the exponent and the exponent.

A mark on the front left of the calculator reads: WANG. A metal tag at the back reads: Wang Laboratories, Inc. (/) ELECTRONIC CALCULATOR (/) MODEL NO. 700C (/) SERIAL No. 811055-C (/) TEWKSBURY, MASS. U.S.A. Marks on the rightmost column of keys confirm that is a model Wang 700C, having debugging features characteristic of that machine. It was released in 1972. A paper sticker on the right back reads: JUL 8 1970 [sic]. The July date is scribbled over one reading JUN 3. Hence the object dates from at least 1970, most probably about 1972.

Documentation received with the calculator dates from 1969, 1970, and 1972.

According to the accession file, the calculator and related materials were used by the husband of the donor. This might be Robert R. Wolf, who lived at the same addresses in New Orleans during and after `983.


An extensive discussion of the Wang 720C advanced programming calculator is at The Old Calculator Web Museum.

Date Made: ca 1972

Maker: Wang Laboratories

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: United States: Massachusetts, Tewksbury

Subject: Business


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


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Gift of Marie K. Wolf

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 1983.0171.01Catalog Number: 1983.0171.01Accession Number: 1983.0171

Object Name: electronic calculator

Physical Description: glass (display material)plastic (keys material)metal (case material)Measurements: overall: 18.5 cm x 48.2 cm x 53.3 cm; 7 9/32 in x 18 31/32 in x 20 31/32 in


Record Id: nmah_334351

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