The First Hand-Held Scientific Calculator in History is the HP-35

Many of us can be familiar with the exact functionalities of a scientific calculator because we read about them, especially that this kind of electronic gadget is useful when solving easy to complex arithmetic problems, equations mathematics and engineering computations. Surely, having no scientific calculator on hand will make it difficult to calculate the exact variables and numerals.

When talking about the different available calculators, these include the basics, intermediates, advanced and combinations. These options have different functions and advantages, but provide the same solution when calculating numbers or variables.

If we discuss about history, records show that the first hand-held scientific calculator in the world is the HP-35 created by Hewlett-Packard on February 1, 1972. The company produced this historic electronic device and became available from 1972 until 1975. In year 2007, HP made a lot of improvement and so it decided to produce the successor of the HP-35 known as the HP-35s, which looks similarly the same.

Based on the information about this first-ever scientific calculator, it features a conventional decimal display screen that floats when showing the numbers and can switch into a scientific notation when computing the other numbers. It has a Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) display that shows at least 15 numbers at a time or 10 numbers with combination of the decimal point, mantissa plus and a pair of numbers for the exponents.

The LED illuminates the screen better to read the digits properly.

From the information shared online, this particular calculator also became the first calculating device that feature the LED and that time, not many companies are using this type of light. It was only after few years when they decided to follow the step of HP-35 and different calculators came out on the market with LED features as well.

The HP-35 needs 3 pieces of AAA (NICD) batteries and these are removable when replacing them through the battery pack at the back of the unit. Unfortunately, the advancement of the technology now had changed and developed non-removable or built-in batteries for the modern scientific calculators these days.

According to the published information through, there is a study for marketing done in 1971 that warned the company about the idea of creating a pocket-sized calculator can only get minimal market, despite having function for scientific and mathematical calculations. The study likewise revealed that it is advisable to create something with the same size of an adding machine or a typewriter, the information explained.

On the other hand, HP founder Bill Hewlett that time believed that people in the engineering industry would choose a calculator that suits their pocket than a bigger unit. Hewlett proved his idea and succeeded on his pocket-sized calculating device, which about 255 grams only.

The first hand-held scientific calculator made a history back in 1972 when it successfully marketed more than 300,000 units. The HP-35 likewise obtained its name based on the designed 35 functional keys on it and during that time, the price range of the unit is about 395 US dollars.

“I did everything I could to set deadlines and break logjams,” Bill Hewlett said during an interview back in 1976 as quoted by “Actually, from the time the product was designed until it was introduced covered less than a year. There was tremendous esprit de corps and excitement,” he added.

Before the advent of the HP-35, another designed calculator that featured the “slide rules” came out back in 1960 and this is a bit complex than the succeeding designed calculators in the world.

To date, Hewlett Packard remains as one of the top producers of high quality electronic gadgets such as computers, laptops, calculators and more.


Credit images: Wikimedia & MagCloud   



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