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National Semiconductor NS 4520 Handheld Electronic Calculator, the Scientist

National Semiconductor NS 4520 Handheld Electronic Calculator, the Scientist

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In the mid-1970s, National Semiconductor Corporation made a series of “professional” calculators that were distributed under both the Novus and the National Semiconductor brand names. This handheld electronic calculator, dubbed the Scientist, sold under the National Semiconductor name. The calculator has a black plastic case, thirty-five rectangular plastic keys, and a plastic display cover. At the bottom of the keyboard are ten digit keys, a decimal point key, and a clear key. To the right of these is a column of four arithmetic function keys. The function of these keys is marked on the keys themselves. Also included among the marked keys is an enter key. The calculator used reverse Polish notation.
To the right and above these keys are a variety of function keys. The function of the keys is indicated on the keyboard. A mark above the keyboard reads: Scientist. Behind the keyboard is an eight-digit red LED display. A mark above this reads: National Semiconductor. The jack for a power adapter is along the back edge and a power switch is on the left edge.
The calculator has no separate battery compartment. A marked scratched on the case reads: MODEL (/) 4520. A sticker at the bottom of the back reads: Made in Hong Kong.
Compare the Novus Scientist (1986.0988.228).
Currently not on view
Object Name
electronic calculator
date made
ca 1976
National Semiconductor Corporation
place made
China: Hong Kong
Physical Description
plastic (case; display cover; keys material)
metal (circuitry material)
paper (sticker material)
overall: 1 in x 2 3/4 in x 6 in; 2.54 cm x 6.985 cm x 15.24 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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