Computers & Business Machines
Imagine the loss, 100 years from now, if museums hadn't begun preserving the artifacts of the computer age. The last few decades offer proof positive of why museums must collect continuously—to document technological and social transformations already underway.
The museum's collections contain mainframes, minicomputers, microcomputers, and handheld devices. Computers range from the pioneering ENIAC to microcomputers like the Altair and the Apple I. A Cray2 supercomputer is part of the collections, along with one of the towers of IBM's Deep Blue, the computer that defeated reigning champion Garry Kasparov in a chess match in 1997. Computer components and peripherals, games, software, manuals, and other documents are part of the collections. Some of the instruments of business include adding machines, calculators, typewriters, dictating machines, fax machines, cash registers, and photocopiers
National Semiconductor 103A Handheld Electronic Calculator
- This handheld electronic calculator comes in a checkbook and is designed to assist in balancing checking accounts. It has a total of thirty-one plastic keys. On the left side are ten digit keys, a clear entry/clear key, a decimal point key, and four arithmetic function keys. At the center are a % key, a total key, an off key, an on key, and a DB key. On the right is a row of keys for a checking account for entering checks and deposits, and finding balances. A second row of three keys is for indicating charges, payments, and balances in a charge account. A third row of keys for a second charge account. At the bottom right corner is a grand total key.
- Behind the keyboard is an eight-digit LCD display. To the right of it are three brightly colored dots. Text to the left reads: NSC National Semiconductor 103A.
- The back of the calculator is riveted to the calculator, so marks there were not recorded. A mark on the circuit board reads: NS-103B-1 (/) A=5 (/) B=10.
- Text on the inside of the checkbook reads: MADE IN TAIWAN. The checkbook also includes space for a pen.
- Compare 1986.0988.227 and 1986.0988.336.
- Frank Macias, “Calculating Friends: Delegate That Everyday Balancing Act to These Little Guys with Big Brains,” Los Angeles Times, November 19, 1978, p. O64.
- [Advertisement], Washington Post, February 13, 1981, p. A41. On sale for $29.95, regularly $34.95.
- date made
- National Semiconductor Corporation
- ID Number
- catalog number
- accession number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History
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