IEEE Milestone: Development of the HP-35, the First Handheld Scientific Calculator


Milestone: Development of the HP-35, the First Handheld Scientific Calculator, 1972

Dedication Date: April 14, 2009

Developed by Hewlett-Packard Company in Palo Alto, California at 1501 Pagemill Road and introduced in 1972, the HP-35 was the first full-function, shirt-pocket-sized, scientific calculator. This invention revolutionized the profession by allowing the engineer to make almost instantaneous, extremely accurate scientific calculations, at his home, office or in the field. Three to five hours of continuous use could be expected from a fully charged battery pack.

For more information on this Milestone, see the ‎IEEE Milestone webpage.



“The HP-35 was the first handheld calculator to perform transcendental functions (such as trigonometric, logarithmic and exponential functions). Most contemporary calculators could only perform the four basic operations – addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. The HP-35 and subsequent models have replaced the slide rule, used by generations of engineers and scientists. The HP-35 performed all the functions of the slide rule to ten-digit precision over a full two-hundred-decade range.”

Hewlett-Packard laboratories
1501 Page Mill Rd.
Palo Alto, CA

Note: The milestone plaque is located in the lobby of
building 3U at the Hewlett-Packard laboratories.


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