Sharp EL 208 Handheld Electronic Calculator

Sharp EL 208 Handheld Electronic Calculator

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This handheld electronic calculator has a tan and orange plastic case, a metal keyboard, and nineteen rectangular plastic keys. The keys include ten digit keys, a decimal point key, a total key, four arithmetic function keys, a % key, a memory key, and a clear entry/clear key. The on/off switch is at the left on the top row of keys. Behind the keyboard is an eight-digit LCD display.
At the top of the back of the calculator is a compartment for a nine-volt battery. Text below it reads: ELECTRONIC CALCULATOR (/) EL-208. Further text reads: NO. 025. The number is on a paper sticker and is difficult to read. Further text reads: SHARP CORPORATION BM (/) MADE IN JAPAN (/) U.S. Pats. 3902169 & 3978994.
The calculator has a dark brown plastic carrying case.
[Advertisement], Los Angeles Times, December 4, 1980, p. B12. A Sharp EL-208 calculator is on sale for $6.99. The placement of the SHARP label is different in this image than on the example in the collections.
[Advertisement], Chicago Tribune, March 8, 1981, p. M6. Sharp EL-208 on sale for $6.99. The image in the advertisement is of the model of calculator in the collections.
Currently not on view
Object Name
electronic calculator
date made
Sharp Corporation
place made
Physical Description
plastic (case; keys material)
leather or leatherette (carrying case material)
metal (keyboard; snap material)
overall: 1 1/8 in x 2 1/2 in x 4 1/4 in; 2.8575 cm x 6.35 cm x 10.795 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of John B. Priser
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Computers
Handheld Electronic Calculators
Computers & Business Machines
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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We bought a Sharp EL208 new at Swan and Edgar in Piccadilly Circus, London, in January 1981. Appearance exactly as per the images shown. Cost £7.99. Was highly inefficient on power usage and the 9V cell regularly needed replacing. Noticeably heavier than the Casio Fx-100 which we bought at the same time for £11.99, and which was highly efficient on power usage. Nearly ten years later when I lost the Casio it was still using the original 2 x 1.5v cells. May or may not be of interest to add to the record.

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