The Museum of HP Calculators

HP Forum Archive 08

[ Return to Index | Top of Index ]

I had a HP35 in 1969
Message #1 Posted by Steve Goldman on 15 May 2002, 2:23 a.m.

Your museum page says that the HP35 was not introduced until 1972 but I received one for a high school graduation present in the Fall of 1969 and was the first one at Georgia Tech to have one. As I recall it cost around $500. Can you explain this apparent contradiction?

Re: I had a HP35 in 1969
Message #2 Posted by Raymond Hellstern on 15 May 2002, 3:49 a.m.,
in response to message #1 by Steve Goldman

Are you sure about the dates you gave, or if it really was an HP-35?

Would you mind sending photos of the calculator, and some where the serial number is visible?

I had an HP42S in 1953. was(Re: I had a HP35 in 1969)
Message #3 Posted by The Traveller on 15 May 2002, 9:30 a.m.,
in response to message #1 by Steve Goldman

I lived in a suburb of Pittsburgh in 1953 and at my grade school 8th grade graduation party that year I received an HP-42S from my eccentric old Uncle Walter, a Ham Radio Operator and (so he claimed, ha ha) a time traveller. It was unlike anything available at the time. Most kids couldn't afford even a slide rule, let alone a microprocessor-controlled advanced scientific calculator. Yet here I had something that only fictional characters like Dick Tracy or Walter Mitty were supposed to own. It was great. Most kids really got excited about the two-line LCD dotmatrix display, though the LCD hadn't been invented yet, and I didn't have the heart to tell them. The teachers in high school the next couple years wouldn't let me use it on tests though, the shortsighted bastards. Uncle Walter used to bring me a lot of other really cool stuff from his workshop out in the woods, back behind where he kept the old DeLorean parked. One time he brought me something he called a "cellphone," back in 1958. It didn't work when he gave it to me, and I put it on a shelf, but then many years later, in the 90's, I brought it out again, dusted it off, and lo and behold it actually worked. Go figure.

Wow! Back to the real world,...
Message #4 Posted by Vieira, Luiz C. (Brazil) on 15 May 2002, 12:25 p.m.,
in response to message #3 by The Traveller

Despite all inspiration The Traveller showed us here, I'd be back to Steve Goldman. and ask him about the 35. At the time I was 8 (1969), I remember moon landing was the mankind's biggest concern. So, my question is : did HewPack have the technology to build a pocket electronic calculator at that time (I still do not have the interrogation signal here...) Based on the answer, I believe there is a possibility they - HP - have offered something like this as internal research. Not impossible! Have you heard about the Xpander(interrogation sign) What if nobody knows about it now and it becomes available in two or three years(interrogation sign) Anyone who claims having it in hands three years before releasing will be in Mr. Goldman's same position.

So, what if...


Re: Wow! Back to the real world,...
Message #5 Posted by Ron Ross on 15 May 2002, 12:33 p.m.,
in response to message #4 by Vieira, Luiz C. (Brazil)

The story is that Bill Hewlett had the idea of putting a scientific in your pocket when everyone else was building desktop scientifics. Also according to the story, Hp put it together and had it in production in less than a year.

1972 - 1 year = 1971. A full two years after this amazing widget is to be.

I suspect a corrupted memory error.

Re: Wow! Back to the real world,...
Message #6 Posted by Frank on 17 May 2002, 12:29 p.m.,
in response to message #5 by Ron Ross

A few weeks ago in another thread, we introduced the calculator from the future with the time (travel) function, perhaps that has something to do with these rifts in time related to calculators.

Re: I had an HP42S in 1953. was(Re: I had a HP35 in 1969)
Message #7 Posted by Massimo Gnerucci (Italy) on 15 May 2002, 1:06 p.m.,
in response to message #3 by The Traveller

I hope that Uncle Walter, back from one of his travels, gave you some LR44 too. ;)

Re: I had a HP35 in 1969
Message #8 Posted by warren on 15 May 2002, 1:26 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Steve Goldman

I'll let "The Traveller's" fanciful response pass without comment. While it may be possible, as Luiz suggests, that a prototype was available in 1969, it does not seem that would have been a likely gift for a graduating high school student. As Ron suggest, it appears that the only explanation for the apparent contradiction is that you are mistaken. The date of introduction of the HP-35 is well established as 1972, by all sources including HP itself:
Also, the introductory price has always been stated as $395, which while quite expensive for that time is not really that close to $500. I would not presume that you do not recall when you graduated from high school, but it sure seems that you mis-remember when you got the 35, or mis-remember what calculator you received in 1969. The problem is that it does not appear that any hand-held calculators were available in 1969. According to the book "The Complete Collector’s Guide to Pocket Calculators" by Guy Ball and Bruce Flamm, the earliest portable (not necessarily hand-held or pocket-size) calculators were introduced in the US chronologically as follows:
Sharp QT-8B, July 1970
Dictaphone 1680, October, 1970
Sharp EL-8, February 1971
Sanyo ICC-0081, March, 1971
Canon Pocketronic, April 1971
These were all four function calculators. The first scientific with transcendental functions was by all accounts the HP-35, in February 1972.
So, is it possible that you received that HP-35 as a birthday present in 1972 and were still the first with such device at Georgia Tech? I hope you won't take any of the above personally, it just appears from all evidence that you are mistaken.

[ Return to Index | Top of Index ]

Go back to the main exhibit hall