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Flavour of New Zealand

NZ popular culture 1960 onward

Remember these

Some items of kiwiana that existed, died out, or arrived in the years since 1960. Click an item from the box below.

Hand-held Calculators

Introduced on July 1 1972, this was the first handheld electronic calculator [other sources say first haldheld SCIENTIFIC calculator] sold by HP, and the first ever to perform logarithmic and trigonometric functions with one keystroke. As opposed to later HP calculators, it has an x^y function, not y^x, and the trigonometric functions work in degrees only. The story goes that it was made after William Hewlett was shown a new scientific desktop calculator by his engineers, and asked for a version to fit in his shirt-pocket. At first, HP thought they would only make a few HP-35s for their own engineers, as no-one else would be interested. Then they decided to try selling it - and sold hundreds of thousands.


First hand-held electronic scientific calculator; the HP-35

click on thumbnail to see full size image



Article by Wlodek Mier-Jedrzejowicz Ph.D. HP-35 image by Kubanczyk under Creative Commons licence. 1975 calculator shot by shrivle (Trademe trader).