Lloyd's Accumatic 100
Calculator energised with the display cover raised and the display illumination turned on.
Lloyd's Accumatic 100
Distinctive features: The first commercial hand-held calculator with a liquid crystal display (LCD).
Display is 8 digits, reflective Liquid Crystal Display (LCD), illuminated by a filament lamp.
Main integrated circuits - Rockwell 10362PB and 2 of 10417PB (here date coded to week 24 and week 26 of 1972).
6v (4 x D cells).
143 mm x 235 mm x 54 mm (5.6" x 9.25" x 2.1").
"Assembled in Mexico primarily of United States parts"
Lloyd's Electronics, Inc., Compton, California., U.S.A.
Pressing the red "Power" button springs the display cover open and turns on the calculator. Pressing the display cover closed switches the calculator off.
Inside the calculator showing, on the right, the filament lamp at the top and the clear plastic light pipe (shaped like half of an ellipse) to illuminate the numbers of the display.
The circuit board, with the LCD at the top and the 3 Rockwell integrated circuits.
The calculator held in the hand, showing the large size, with the display cover closed.
Rockwell manufactured this model for Lloyd's and also for Sears.
The journal Electronics Illustrated of September 1972 reported: "Electronics division of North American Rockwell Corp. (NRMEC) will start delivering electronic mini-calculators this June to Sears Roebuck, Lloyds of California and other consumer outlets. Machines will be sold under customer labels, but are based on advances made recently by NRMEC in liquid-crystal technology and large-scale integrated circuits."
Calculator models manufactured by Rockwell for other companies were the first calculators with a Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) to go on sale (see also the Rapid Data Rapidman 1208LC desktop model).
Due to the reflective nature of the numerals of this first generation LCD a filiament lamp is used to illuminate the display from above it. The lamp has a high current consumption requiring the use of four large D cells, though rechargeable ones can be used. This negates the main advantage of the low power consumption of the LCD. Other slightly later models (eg. Sharp EL-8001) used a hood over the display with a diffusing window to illuminate the numbers of the display.
The introduction of LCDs in calculators was not smooth. There was much debate about the life expectancy of the Liquid Crystal compounds used in these displays (though this example worked perfectly after 30 years) and there appear to have been manufacturing problems. It was to be 3 or 4 years before LCD technology had improved and cost dropped for it to start becoming the dominant display technology of calculators.
See the article "Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) Calculators" on this site for information about other early LCD calculators.
© Text & photographs copyright Nigel Tout 2000-2018 except where noted otherwise.