Worlds Smallest Calculator



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


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. ;-)


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


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


So we shall say 1970 ± 1 d8)


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cheaper than be Busicom, this is just tricking people into purchasing "old stuff" (probably to clean inventory of the outdated 4-chip chipset).


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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