Calculator Companies

Home > Calculator Companies

Bowmar

Bowmar/ALI Inc., Acton, Massachusetts, U.S.A.

Bowmar was a small company specialising in high technology components for the space programmes and produced a hand-held calculator as a demonstration device for its LED displays. So good was the reception to the calculator that in 1971 it moved into large scale calculator production.

Bowmar became one of the major manufacturers, making calculators for other companies and also selling under its own name. A report from 1974 on the calculator industry says that Bowmar is probably the largest manufacturer of hand-held calculators in the world[1] and during 1971 and 1972 was Texas Intruments' largest customer for LSI calculator integrated circuits. Bowmar's total sales increased from $3m in 1971 to $64m in 1973, largely as a result of its entry into calculators.

With the dramatic fall in calculator prices in the mid-1970s, Bowmar decided that it needed to manufacture its own integrated circuits to remain competitive and in 1974 invested in a semiconductor plant. However, prices continued to plummet and Bowmar had to file for bankruptcy protection early in 1975.

See the article "Pioneering Calculator Companies: Bowmar" on this site.

 

Examples of Bowmar calculators

Bowmar 901B

Bowmar 901B.

The first Bowmar calculator and the first hand-held calculator manufactured in the U.S.A, it was introduced in 1972. This model was also made for Commodore and Craig.

This is a featured calculator.

Bowmar 905

A typical Bowmar calculator from the mid-1970s, the Bowmar 905.

Bowmar

This Bowmar calculator (without a model number) was unusually made in Hong Kong and not the U.S.A. It is date stamped July 1977, probably after production in the U.S.A. had finished and is the cheap "Standard 1" model, which was sold under various names.

Bowmar MX-55

Bowmar MX-55 made under licence in Hungary by Hiradastecnika Szovetkezet.

Label

For further photographs of Bowmar calculators see the Calculator Photo Library on this site.

 

References:

  1. Milton, R., Beaumont, A.J. (1974), Electronic Calculator Markets and Suppliers, 2nd. ed., Finresearch Series, London: Ovum, p7.
Home
1) Mechanical Calculators
2) Desk Electronic Calculators
3) Hand-held Calculators
4) Non-Decimal Calculators
5) The Pocket Calculator Race
6) Calculator Companies
7) Calculator Photo Library
8) Calculator Articles
9) British Calculator Companies
10) Puzzle Corner
11) Calculator Time-line
12) Calculator Technology
13) Index to the Calculators
14) Calculator Resources
15) Frequently Asked Questions
16) Update Information
17) Vintage Calculator News
18) Bletchley Park
19) About this site
20) Search this Site

Calculator Companies

APF
Bell Punch / Anita
Bowmar
Brunsviga
Burroughs
Busicom / NCM
Canon
Casio
Commodore / cbm
Comptometer
Compucorp
Elektronika
Facit
Friden
General Instrument
Hewlett Packard
Hitachi
IME
Litronix
Lloyds
Marchant
Monroe
National Semiconductor
Odhner
Olivetti
Rapid Data
Rockwell
Sanyo
Sharp
Sinclair
Summit
Teal
Texas Instruments
Toshiba
Victor
Wang
Integrated Circuit Manufacturers

Vintage Calculators

© Text & photographs copyright Nigel Tout   2000-2014 except where noted otherwise.