Radio Shack EC-380 Handheld Electronic Calculator

Radio Shack EC-380 Handheld Electronic Calculator

<< >>
Usage conditions apply
This handheld electronic calculator has a case in two shades of brown and an array of twenty-three rectangular plastic keys. These include ten digit keys, a decimal point key, a total key, and four arithmetic function keys. The leftmost column of keys includes %, square root, clear, and clear entry keys. The on/off switch is at the top of the keyboard, next to three memory keys. Behind this is an eight-digit vacuum fluorescent display. A mark above this reads: Radio Shack. A power jack is on the back edge.
The back of the calculator has a compartment for two AA batteries. Below this is a sticker that reads in part:
CAT. NO 65-616 (/) MODEL EC-380 (/) Radio Shack A DIVISION OF TANDY CORPORATION (/) DC 3V(“AA” CELL X 2). (/) FOR 120V AC OPERATION (/) USE ADAPTER 14-854. It also reads: 8A6 (/) JAPAN.
Compare 1986.0988.040 (Radio Shack EC-231) and 1986.0988.46 (Radio Shack EC-380).
Radio Shack, A Tandy Company, 1977 Catalog No. 276 , p. 152, accessed September 22, 2014, at The price listed is $24.95.
Currently not on view
Object Name
electronic calculator
Other Terms
electronic calculator; Handheld
date made
Tandy Corporation
place made
Physical Description
plastic (case; keys; display cover material)
metal (circuitry material)
paper (sticker material)
overall: 3/4 in x 3 in x 5 1/4 in; 1.905 cm x 7.62 cm x 13.335 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
Nominate this object for photography.   

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.


This was my parents first calculator, and today it is still on my desk and operational. From the nicely spaced keys to the bright display it has been a favorite of my family for over four decades now. As an engineer myself I marvel that it has stayed operation and has had no component failures. I am curious on why the Smithsonian chose to add this little gem to its collection?
I received one of these as a gift in 1977, and it was my favorite calculator until I went off to college in 1982, at which point I needed something more powerful. My EC-380 had a curious feature: if I pressed the square root and change sign keys simultaneously, the calculator would enter the value of Pi on the screen. I discovered this quite by accident by fat-fingering those two keys one day. I never knew if this was a bug or a feature, and I'd be curious to know if your sample does this. I think my EC-380 met its demise either because of a battery leak or a liquid spill. I'd be happy to answer any questions you might have about this calculator, although the fact of the matter is that other than that one obscure function, there's not a whole lot of mystery here; what you see is what you get.

Note: Comment submission is temporarily unavailable while we make improvements to the site. We apologize for the interruption. If you have a question relating to the museum's collections, please first check our Collections FAQ. If you require a personal response, please use our Contact page.