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Sinclair

Sinclair executive calculator

Clive Sinclair was very innovative in the field of consumer electronics and, for many years in Britain, was widely known as "the man who invented the pocket calculator".

This is not true since there were earlier calculators that would fit in a small pocket (for example the Busicom LE-120A "handy"). However, the Sinclair Executive, shown on the left, was the first slimline calculator and when launched in July 1972 it caused a sensation because it was the world's thinnest calculator by a long way.

The later Cambridge models were also very small and generally crammed many functions into their small size. However, the smart design of some of these, the "pregnant" models, was destroyed since they required a large bulge in the back of the case to take a 9v PP3 battery instead of the earlier AAA pen-light cells.

The Sinclair name is associated with several companies. Nearly all of the calculators were produced by Sinclair Radionics Ltd., though the Wristwatch calculator was produced by Sinclair Instruments Ltd. There is a brief history of Clive Sinclair, his companies, his calculators, and other products in the article Clive Sinclair and the pocket calculator in the Collecting Calculators section of this site.

Sinclair calculators are known for their innovative and often elegant designs. The dates of introduction of some of the notable models are listed below. All are from Sinclair Radionics Ltd., except where noted:

  • June 1972 - Sinclair Executive - there are two versions of the Executive.
  • August 1973 - the first Cambridge model. There are nearly a dozen Cambridge models, ranging from simple 4-function machines to the Cambridge Programmable.
  • November 1973 - Sinclair Executive Memory.
  • April 1974 - Sinclair Scientific. This used the casing of the Cambridge models.
  • March 1975 - Sinclair Oxford models. Initially there were 3 models, the 100, 200, and 300 with LED displays. Later versions had VFD displays, and other Oxford models followed.
  • August 1975 - Sinclair Scientific Programmable.
  • Late-1976 - Sinclair Sovereign model.
  • February 1977 - Sinclair Cambridge Scientific.
  • February 1977 - Sinclair Wristwatch Calculator (from Sinclair Instruments Ltd.).
  • October 1977 - Sinclair Enterprise.
  • February 1978 - Sinclair President.
  • July 1978 - Sinclair Enterprise Programmable.

Source "Sinclair and the 'Sunrise' Technology"

 

Known Sinclair models  :-

Sinclair models under other names :-

 

Thumbnail pictures are grouped here by case style.

Click on an image to go to a page with larger pictures and technical details -

Cambridge (type 1)

Cambridge (type 2)

Cambridge type 1

Has keys [C] and [K].

Cambridge type 2

Has keys [C] and [CE].

Cambridge (type 3)

Cambridge (type 4)

Cambridge type 3

Has keys [C/CE] and [K].

Has keys [C], [CE] and [%].

Cambridge Memory (type 1)

Cambridge Memory (type 2)

Cambridge Memory (%) (type 1)
Cambridge Memory

Cambridge Memory (type 3)

Cambridge Memory (%)  (type 2)

Cambridge Programmable

Cambridge Scientific

Cambridge Programmable
Cambridge Scientific

Cambridge Universal

Cambridge Universal

Enterprise

Enterprise Programmable

Enterprise Programmable
Enterprise

Executive

Executive Memory

Executive Memory
Executive

Oxford 100

Oxford 150

Oxford 150
Oxford 100

Oxford 200

Oxford 300

Oxford 300
Oxford 200

Oxford Scientific

Oxford Universal

Oxford Universal
Oxford Scientific

President

President Scientific

Sinclair President Sinclair President

Scientific

Giant Scientific

Scientific

Scientific Programmable

Oxford Scientific Programmable

Sovereign

Wrist Calculator

Wrist Calculator
Sovereign

Models by Sinclair under other names:

Gillette GPA

Radio Shack EC-4001

Gillette GPA Radio Shack EC-4001

Radionic

The Sporting Life SETTLER

Radionic

Sinclair digital multimeter in a calculator case:

PDM35 Multimeter

PDM35 Multimeter

A digital multimeter in an Oxford calculator case.

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