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Victor Tallymate Desktop Electronic Calculator, Model 85

Victor Tallymate Desktop Electronic Calculator, Model 85

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Usage conditions apply
This four-function desktop electronic calculator has a turquoise plastic case with plastic keys in two shades of the same color. The keyboard has an array of nine digit keys with a zero bar and a decimal point key below these. Above the digit keys are clear entry, clear all, and subtraction keys. On the right is a division key and bars for multiplication and addition. Switches behind the keyboard turn the device on or off and determine the position of the decimal point in result. Behind the switches is an eight-digit display. Behind these is a battery indicator as well as two warning lights, one labeled OFL (for overflow) and the other NEG (for negative numbers).
A case for six AA batteries is on the bottom of the machine. No batteries are present. A jack for a power adapter or cord is at the back, but the adapter is not present.
A mark on the front reads: VICTOR (/) tallymate. A tag in the bottom gives instructions for using the calculator. It reads in part: MODEL – 85 (/) SERIAL NO. 059311 (/) MADE IN JAPAN (/) FOR VICTOR COMPTOMETER BUSINESS MACHINES DIVISION (/) CHICAGO ILLINOIS 60618.
According to the website of Victor Technology, the successor firm to Victor Comptometer, the calculator has a MOS-LSI calculator chip (the TMS0105) from Texas Instruments, and a vacuum fluorescent display module from ISE (DP88F). It was introduced in 1972. A newspaper advertisement from late 1973 gives a price of $79.95. Another ad, from early 1974, lists a sale price of $99.95, down from a regular price of $159.50.
Website of Victor Technology,
[Advertisement], Los Angeles Times, December 20, 1973, p. D4.
[Advertisement], New York Times, January 2, 1974, p. 12.
Currently not on view
Object Name
electronic calculator
date made
ca 1973
Victor Comptometer Corporation
place made
Physical Description
plastic (case, keys, circuit board material)
metal (wiring, label material)
overall: 22.352 cm x 8.89 cm x 4.572 cm; 8 13/16 in x 3 1/2 in x 1 13/16 in
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of John B. Priser
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Computers
Desktop Electronic Calculators
Computers & Business Machines
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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"I purchased one of these when I was in college. As the manager of a movie theatre, concession stand inventory and other financial reports required a lot of computations. My first "calculator " was a Victor manual (hand crank) model. When I got the Tallymate, it made everything so much easier. The battery life for the six AA batteries was approximately one hour. So the AC adapter was essential. But the unit offered real speed because you could perform functions by touch. Eventually, the calculator went out. However, I liked it so much that I've purchase two of these off of eBay, one of the brand new, for less than the $79.95 back in the 1970s. But even though it was expensive in that time, it was a great basic calculator. I use it all the time now, since as a college teacher, grades and other computations are required regularly. It's my favorite calculator of all time!"

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