The value & history of old hewlett packard calculators

Old Hewlett Packard calculators hold a special place in the hearts of collectors and technology enthusiasts. These calculators, known for their durability and advanced features, have become iconic symbols of the early days of electronic computing. In this article, we will explore the value and history of old Hewlett Packard calculators, and provide some insights for collectors and those interested in these vintage devices.

Content Index

Understanding the Age of Old Hewlett Packard Calculators

Before delving into the value of old Hewlett Packard calculators, it's important to understand how to determine their age. Most integrated circuits and electronic components used in these calculators are stamped with a date code, indicating the week and year of manufacture. For example, a date code of 7326 would indicate that the component was manufactured in week 26 of 197

By examining the date codes on the components, one can determine the latest date code and estimate the age of the calculator. However, it's important to note that if components have been replaced, the calculator may be newer than the latest date code.

Additionally, the design and features of the calculator can provide some clues about its age. Handheld calculators from the 1971 to 1973 period are likely to be early models, while AC-powered electronic calculators from the 1960s to about 1972 are also considered early models.

Factors Affecting the Value of Old Hewlett Packard Calculators

The value of old Hewlett Packard calculators can vary depending on several factors. Collectors are often willing to pay more for calculators that are rare, highly desirable, in excellent cosmetic condition, and in working order. Additionally, the presence of operating instructions, original boxes, and other accessories can also increase the value of a calculator.

Companies like Hewlett-Packard and Sinclair have a certain charisma and historical significance that adds to the desirability of their calculators. For example, the Hewlett-Packard HP-65, which was the first handheld programmable calculator, is highly sought after by collectors.

It's important to note that the condition of the calculator plays a significant role in determining its value. Scratches, cracks, dents, rust, and stains can significantly reduce the value of a calculator. Additionally, the shipping cost of a calculator, especially for heavy mechanical calculators, can also impact its value.

Determining the Value of Old Hewlett Packard Calculators

Estimating the value of old Hewlett Packard calculators can be a challenging task. There are several resources available, such as the complete collector's guide to pocket calculators by Guy Ball and Bruce Flamm, that provide estimated values for many handheld electronic calculators. Similarly, antique office machines: 600 years of calculating devices by Thomas A. Russo provides estimated values for mechanical calculators.

However, it's important to consider that these estimated values may vary depending on factors such as rarity, desirability, and geographic location. Prices at auctions, particularly on platforms like eBay, can provide a more accurate representation of the current market value of a specific calculator model. By researching completed auctions and observing the highest bids reached, collectors can gain a better understanding of the value of a calculator.

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Where to Buy and Sell Old Hewlett Packard Calculators

When it comes to buying and selling old Hewlett Packard calculators, there are several options available. Flea markets, thrift stores, and garage sales can sometimes yield interesting finds, although the success rate can be low. Antiques and collectors fairs may also have mechanical and electronic calculators available, although prices may be higher.

The advent of online auction sites, particularly eBay, has revolutionized the market for old calculators. eBay offers a wide range of calculators from various countries, providing many opportunities for collectors to find rare and desirable models. It's important to study the auction process and understand the trustworthiness of sellers before buying or selling through eBay.

Forums dedicated to calculators, such as the Old Calculator Forum, can also be a valuable resource for buying and selling old Hewlett Packard calculators. These forums allow collectors to connect with each other and potentially find calculators that may not be easily available elsewhere.

Repairing Old Hewlett Packard Calculators

Repairing old Hewlett Packard calculators can be a challenging task, especially for electronic calculators with long-obsolete components. However, there are still some repairmen who specialize in repairing old mechanical calculators. Retired repairmen may be willing to take on repair jobs, although shipping costs can be expensive.

For Hewlett Packard calculators, the Hewlett Packard Calculator Museum site provides information on repairs and maintenance. Additionally, Olivetti dealer Jay Respler may be able to assist with repairs for Olivetti calculators.

It's worth noting that mechanical calculators may require periodic servicing due to the hardening of lubricants over time. John Wolff's website offers detailed information on overhauling mechanical calculators and provides tips on maintaining their functionality.

Old Hewlett Packard calculators have a special place in the world of vintage technology and collectibles. Their durability, advanced features, and historical significance make them highly desirable among collectors. By understanding the age, factors affecting value, and where to buy and sell these calculators, enthusiasts can navigate the market and potentially find valuable additions to their collections. Whether you're a collector or simply fascinated by the history of computing, old Hewlett Packard calculators offer a glimpse into the early days of electronic computation.

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