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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:  28445
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 MX55.

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.