Ten Key Calculator History
The Long and Short (Mostly Short) Of It
Canon lays claim to the title of inventor of the electronic ten-key calculator, labeling themselves as the first to produce a working prototype of a calculator with fully electronic circuits and a luminous display in July of 1963. Even so, Sharp beat them to market with their own version of the electronic 10-key calculator made for a desktop.
Up until the 1960's, the most common calculators were electro-mechanical. These calculators were cumbersome and not made for the speedy numerical calculations we're used to today with our fancy new-age models.
- Check out the 10 key calculator I recommend: SHARP EL-1801PIII
If you want to see some lovely detailed pictures of the mechanical ten-key models, John Wolff's Web Museum has a nice page about full-function ten-key calculators.
Ten keys were often called adding machines because of the way they worked. Even today, a lot of people still call a ten key calculator a ten key adding machine.