Texas Instruments SR-16 Handheld Electronic Calculator

Texas Instruments SR-16 Handheld Electronic Calculator

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This is an example of an early scientific calculator marketed by Texas Instruments. Extending the capabilities of its SR-10 and SR-11 “slide rule” calculators, TI introduced it in 1974. The handheld electronic calculator has a black plastic case with an array of thirty-five small rectangular plastic keys. In addition to ten digit keys, a decimal point key, a change sign key, a total key, four arithmetic function keys, a clear entry key and a clear key, the calculator has twelve additional function keys. These are for reciprocals, squares, square roots, natural logs, exponents, logs to base ten, powers of 10, powers, storage, recall, summation, and entering exponents. Text on the keyboard, below the keys and two the left, reads: SR-16. Behind the keyboard is a twelve-digit LED display. A mark behind the display reads: TEXAS INSTRUMENTS. The on/off switch is right and slightly above this mark.
The back edge of the calculator has a jack for a recharger/adapter. A small sticker next to it reads: INSPECTED (/) BY (/) AA-06. A sticker on the back gives extensive instructions. It also gives the serial number SR-16 105736.
Unscrewing screws near the top and bottom of the back reveals the workings of the calculator. It has a total of three chips. The largest of these is marked TMS1001NL (/) AΔ7519. This is a TMS1001 chip, manufactured in mid-1975. Also in the case is space for three fast-charge nickel-cadmium batteries.
The calculator comes in a black plastic zippered case with belt hook and clip.
[Advertisement], Los Angeles Times, February 22, 1975, p. E4. Give price of $89.95.
[Advertisement], Washington Post, March 11, 1975, p. A4. Give price of $84.95.
Guy Ball and Bruce Flamm, The Complete Collector’s Guide to Pocket Calculators, Tustin, CA: Wilson/Barnett, 1997, p. 153. They give a 1974 price of $99.99.
Currently not on view
Object Name
electronic calculator
date made
Texas Instruments
place made
United States: Texas, Dallas
Physical Description
plastic (case; keys; circuit boards material)
metal (circuitry; zipper 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
Handheld Electronic Calculators
Computers & Business Machines
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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