Hand-held Calculators

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Distinctive features: The first calculator in a ball-point pen.

Technical details:
Display is 8 digits, red LED.

4-function, %.

1.5v (1x N).

160 mm x 15 mm (6.3" x 0.6").

About 1975.

Cost: The initial cost was US$79.95 [about £45 GBP], but this fell to US$19.95 [about £11 GBP].

Made in Japan.

The buttons are 4-way switches. To operate, a finger is placed on a button and moved sideways in the direction of the number or operation required.
The journal Popular Science concluded "While the four-in-one design is a clever idea, actual performance is awkward—so is writing with the thick pen"[1].


Advertisement for the Calcu-pen from November 1977, with heavily discounted price.

Click here to see the article "Unusual Calculators The Calcu-pen" by Guy Ball in the "Collecting Calculators" section of this site.


By 1975 the electronics required for a calculator had shrunk so much that it could be fitted into a, slightly bulbous, ball-point pen.



  1. "Novelty Calculators", Popular Science, January 1977, p59.

Hand-held Calculators

Vintage Calculators

© Text & photographs copyright Nigel Tout   2000-2019  except where noted otherwise.