Texas Instruments SR-10 Handheld Electronic Calculator

Texas Instruments SR-10 Handheld Electronic Calculator

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This is an example of the first model of a scientific calculator marketed by Texas Instruments. The handheld electronic calculator has a black- and ivory-colored plastic case with an array of twenty-three plastic keys. Twenty-one of these are square while the 0 and total keys are rectangular. In addition to ten digit keys, a decimal point key, a total key, and four arithmetic function keys, the calculator has a reciprocal key, a square key, a square root key, a change sign key, an enter exponent key, a clear key, and a clear display key. Text on the keyboard, above the keys and to the left, reads: SR-10. Behind the keyboard is a twelve-digit LED display. Numbers larger than eight digits are displayed in scientific notation. A mark behind the display reads: TEXAS INSTRUMENTS. An on/off switch is right and slightly above this.
The back edge of the calculator has a jack for a recharger/adapter. A sticker on the back gives extensive instructions. It also gives the serial number SR10 456098. A small round sticker above the large sticker reads: INSPECTED (/) BY J-04.
Unscrewing screws near the top and bottom of the back reveals the workings of the calculator. It has a total of five chips. The largest of these is marked TMS0120NC (/) C7352. This is a TMS0120 chip, manufactured toward the end of 1973. Also in the case is space for three AA nickel-cadmium batteries.
The leather zippered case has both a loop and a hook for attaching the calculator to a belt.
Texas Instruments described the SR-10 as an “electronic slide rule calculator,” hence the “SR” in the name. The first version of the device, introduced in 1972, did not have the mark SR-10 on the keyboard. The second version (introduced in 1973) and the third (introduced in 1975) did. This is an example of the second version.
Compare 1986.0988.351, 1986.0988.354, and 1986.0988.356.
Guy Ball and Bruce Flamm, The Complete Collector’s Guide to Pocket Calculators, Tustin, CA: Wilson/Barnett, 1997, p. 153.
The online Datamath Museum includes versions of the SR-10 from 1972, 1973, and 1975.
Currently not on view
Object Name
electronic calculator
date made
Texas Instruments
place made
United States: Texas, Dallas
Physical Description
plastic (case; keys material)
leather, cloth (carrying case material)
metal (circuitry; zipper; screws material)
paper (sticker material)
overall: 1 1/2 in x 3 in x 6 1/4 in; 3.81 cm x 7.62 cm x 15.875 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of John B. Priser
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Computers
Computers & Business Machines
Handheld Electronic Calculators
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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My first calculator bought for stats class in fall '73. $60+ so very expensive; but what a move up from a slide rule! Having a square root key was like magic. The red numbers would go blank for a moment when you hit the = sign. One of the truly smart guys in the snack bar could usually come up with the answer before the SR-10 flashed the answer!

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