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Bowmar 901B

Date of introduction:  September 1971 Display technology:  LED-stick
New price:  $240 Display size:  8
Size:  5.2" x 3.1" x 1.5"
 133 x 78 x 37 mm3
   
Weight:  10.9 ounces, 310 grams Serial No:  284455
Batteries:  6*AA NiCd Date of manufacture:  mth 02 year 1972
AC-Adapter:   Origin of manufacture:  USA
Precision:  8 Integrated circuits:  TMS0103
Memories:      
Program steps:   Courtesy of:  Joerg Woerner
    Download manual:   (US: 2.3 MByte)

Texas Instruments announced September 17, 1971 the "calculator-on-a-chip" and Bowmar/Ali Inc. of Acton, Massachusetts, USA. introduced the famous 901B "True-Pocket-Size" calculator based on the TMS0103 with a suggested retail price (SRP) of $240.00.

It took less than one year before Texas Instruments announced the TI-2500 Datamath calculator in April 1972 with a SRP of only $149.95, its delivery in June 1972 to first customers in the Neiman-Marcus and Sanger-Harris department stores in Dallas, TX and its formally introduction on September 21, 1972. The SRP of the TI-2500 was reduced to $119.95 by the date of its introduction.

Dismantling the featured Bowmar 901B manufactured in February 1972 reveals not only the TMS0103, but four Texas Instruments display drivers, the original Klixon™ keypad and a Bowmar made Opto-stic LED display.

Compare this Bowmar 901B with the Mariner NRC7200 sporting LED displays from Monsanto.

Digging in the history of portable electronic calculators? Don't miss the Sanyo ICC-804D, Sharp EL-8 and Rapidman 800.

Later with the Bowmar 901D a similar calculator with a 10 digit display was sold.

This calculator was sold under different labels, beside this Bowmar 901B it was popular as Commodore C110 and Craig 4501, too. A very similar design was introduced by Columbia with the Scientific. Don't miss the minirex 73, the eastern copy from GDR company RFT and the Heathkit IC-2009. The Litronix Checkmate looks similar but is completely different.

First_TI.jpg (52283 Byte)If you are familiar with the Klixon™ keyboard, have a closer look on the following machines: All three calculators were manufactured by Texas Instruments and use this keyboard:

Radio Shack EC-200
Montgomery Ward P800
Longines Symphonette EC

Compare this 901B with later products like the MX-55.

Bowmar Instruments was one of the first casualties of the Calculator Wars and filed in 1976 for bankruptcy. Don't miss a mystery calculator with the Bowmar brand introduced in 1977!

Klixon™ is a trademark of Texas Instruments.



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If you have additions to the above article please email: joerg@datamath.org.

© Joerg Woerner, December 5, 2001. No reprints without written permission.