The Museum of HP Calculators

HP Forum Archive 18

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Worlds Smallest Calculator
Message #1 Posted by Kevin Kitts on 29 Apr 2008, 12:57 p.m.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4dX2Ki6D0I0&feature=related

      
Re: Worlds Smallest Calculator
Message #2 Posted by bt_schmidt on 29 Apr 2008, 7:24 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Kevin Kitts

thank you. Do you know exactly what year that commercial was from? ...bt

            
Re: Worlds Smallest Calculator
Message #3 Posted by Kevin Kitts on 29 Apr 2008, 8:12 p.m.,
in response to message #2 by bt_schmidt

I saw a comment somewhere that it was 1972 - but I'm not sure...

I recall that my Dad had something that looked like that when I was in Junior High or High School - that was the mid 70s. ;-)

                  
Re: Worlds Smallest Calculator (1970's Sharp)
Message #4 Posted by Karl Schneider on 30 Apr 2008, 3:57 a.m.,
in response to message #3 by Kevin Kitts

Quote:
saw a comment somewhere that it was 1972 - but I'm not sure...

Thanks for the YouTube link to the Sharp LC-8. I found many other 1960's and 1970's TV ads to watch -- a few of which I remembered... ;-)

Hmm, I'd think the Sharp calc was a bit older -- say, 1970. It's quite chunky, far bigger than the HP-35 that was released (early?) in 1972. Its price of US$345 for a 4-banger was almost as much as the full-scientific HP-35's $395. The hairstyles, music, and nurse's cap are also a bit more more reminiscent of 1970.

Addendum: Another website says, January 1971. The same ad (and another one for the LC-8) is posted at a few different sites, including YouTube. Check out the display!

-- KS

Edited: 30 Apr 2008, 4:16 a.m. after one or more responses were posted

                        
Re: Worlds Smallest Calculator (1970's Sharp)
Message #5 Posted by Thomas Radtke on 30 Apr 2008, 4:09 a.m.,
in response to message #4 by Karl Schneider

Conflicting informations about the LC-8 can be found on the net. One source mentiones the year 1969. The other extreme ist 1971.

                              
Re: Worlds Smallest Calculator (1970's Sharp)
Message #6 Posted by Walter B on 30 Apr 2008, 4:15 a.m.,
in response to message #5 by Thomas Radtke

So we shall say 1970 1 d8)

      
by date of introduction, it has been a dinosaur
Message #7 Posted by Frank Boehm (Germany) on 30 Apr 2008, 4:17 a.m.,
in response to message #1 by Kevin Kitts

This is the Sharp EL-8, introduced early 1971, just stuffing QT8-technology (4 chips) into a new enclosure. By this date, Busicom had their 120A ready (1 chip), Sanyo was only a little bit later with the ICC-804D (also 4 chips) and by mid of the year, TI also had their first one-chip calculator chipset ready. So I would consider this EL-8 as unimpressive as it could be, other than being (a lot) cheaper than be Busicom, this is just tricking people into purchasing "old stuff" (probably to clean inventory of the outdated 4-chip chipset).

            
Re: by date of introduction, it has been a dinosaur
Message #8 Posted by Mike Morrow on 30 Apr 2008, 1:07 p.m.,
in response to message #7 by Frank Boehm (Germany)

It's interesting to me that few of these very early calculators were actually to be seen in circulation in 1971. I was an undergraduate student in electrical engineering (early geek) at Georgia Tech in Atlanta from 1970 to 1974. I never saw an electronic handheld of any sort prior to 1972, even though I was in an area where such electronic marvels would likely have made their first appearance. But 1972 was the breakthrough year. The campus bookstores sold HP-35 and HP-80 units, and there were stores in downtown Atlanta that sold nothing but four-function handhelds.

One reason the EL-8 was rarely seen was doubtless due to its great cost ($345 in 1971 = $1820 today). The Sharp EL-801 (a really neat and high quality LED unit) appeared a year later for a "mere" $130. I couldn't afford an HP, so I made do with a similarly-priced Bomar 901B ($130 in 1972 = $665 today). My Bomar and my Dietzgen "micro-glide" slide rule ($35 in 1969 = $205 today) got me through my junior and senior years.


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