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First calculator handling fractions
08-21-2022, 10:46 AM
Post: #1
First calculator handling fractions
Dear All,

which was the first calculator that could calculate with fractions? And was there a manufacturer implementing this feature before HP did? And which was the first HP model implementing this feature? By "handling fractions" I mean the ability to enter e.g 1/2 + 1/3 and getting 5/6 as result. As far as I remember, even some models with pure 7-Segment-displays were able to this, using _| as fraction line symbol.

Best regards
Karl
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08-21-2022, 11:38 AM (This post was last modified: 08-21-2022 12:54 PM by Maximilian Hohmann.)
Post: #2
RE: First calculator handling fractions
Hello!

Interesting question. In my collection I have a Casio-AL8S that can not only calculate and display fractions but also perform time and date calculations. It is from 1976 and has a vacuum fluorescent 7-digit display. Fraction display is somewhat weird as can be seen in the manual (page 9 in this document: https://usermanual.wiki/Manual/CasioAL8.71229025/view).
But I am pretty certain that there must be older ones that can do fractions.

Regards
Max

NB: To this day I have not found anything useful to do with fraction-capable calculators. We were taught fractions at school at some early stage but from then on I never encountered them again in my professional or private life.

NNB: I searched the web and found this site here http://www.vintagecalculators.com/html/c...odels.html where the author claims that the Casio AL-8 and AL-10, both from 1975, were the first handheld calculators that could accept and display fractions.
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08-21-2022, 12:18 PM
Post: #3
RE: First calculator handling fractions
I *believe* the first HP that could natively work with fractions was the HP-32SII which was introduced in 1991.
http://www.finseth.com/hpdata/hp32sii.php

   

Note that the HP-48SX introduced a year earlier had the ->Q function which could convert a real number to a fractional algebraic expression. I don't consider this a native support of fractional entry and display as we are discussing here.
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08-21-2022, 06:16 PM (This post was last modified: 08-21-2022 06:17 PM by Steve Simpkin.)
Post: #4
RE: First calculator handling fractions
(08-21-2022 11:38 AM)Maximilian Hohmann Wrote:  Hello!

Interesting question. In my collection I have a Casio-AL8S that can not only calculate and display fractions but also perform time and date calculations. It is from 1976 and has a vacuum fluorescent 7-digit display. Fraction display is somewhat weird as can be seen in the manual (page 9 in this document: https://usermanual.wiki/Manual/CasioAL8.71229025/view).
But I am pretty certain that there must be older ones that can do fractions.

Regards
Max

NB: To this day I have not found anything useful to do with fraction-capable calculators. We were taught fractions at school at some early stage but from then on I never encountered them again in my professional or private life.

NNB: I searched the web and found this site here http://www.vintagecalculators.com/html/c...odels.html where the author claims that the Casio AL-8 and AL-10, both from 1975, were the first handheld calculators that could accept and display fractions.

Max, I believe you did find the first calculator that had built-in support for fractions (Casio AL-8 and AL-10 from 1975) and I am impressed with how quickly you found it!

By the way, in the U.S. fractions are commonly used in construction and carpentry. Calculated Industries make a number of specialized calculators for this market.
https://www.calculated.com/prd103/Constr...lator.html#


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08-21-2022, 06:47 PM
Post: #5
RE: First calculator handling fractions
I didn't know about the Casio AL-8, AL-10 and AL-8S. I think the first scientific model with fraction support was the Casio fx-29.

— Ian Abbott
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08-21-2022, 06:59 PM
Post: #6
RE: First calculator handling fractions
Hello!

(08-21-2022 06:16 PM)Steve Simpkin Wrote:  Max, I believe you did find the first calculator that had built-in support for fractions (Casio AL-8 and AL-10 from 1975) and I am impressed with how quickly you found it!

This is simply because I have an AL-8S in my collection that was somewhat difficult to find and therefore I remember it well. Not because of the fractions but because of the date/time functions which is something I have a professional interest in (aviation/navigation).

Regards
Max
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08-21-2022, 08:04 PM
Post: #7
RE: First calculator handling fractions
I have a Casio AL-8 which I've had from new! My mother bought it for me in 1977, if I remember correctly. I love the quiet "clicking" sound that the display makes when it is switched on. After all these years it still works reliably and the keyboard is as good as new. (Perhaps not unrelated to this is the fact that this is one of the few calculators I own that I've never taken to pieces!)

Happy memories.

Nigel (UK)
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08-21-2022, 08:11 PM
Post: #8
RE: First calculator handling fractions
(08-21-2022 06:47 PM)ijabbott Wrote:  I didn't know about the Casio AL-8, AL-10 and AL-8S. I think the first scientific model with fraction support was the Casio fx-29.

The earlier Casio fx-19 from 1976 supports fractions too.
http://www.voidware.com/calcs/fx19.htm
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08-22-2022, 07:40 AM
Post: #9
RE: First calculator handling fractions
Thanks a lot for all these great and interesting answers.

Best regards
Karl
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08-22-2022, 07:56 PM
Post: #10
RE: First calculator handling fractions
(08-21-2022 08:11 PM)Steve Simpkin Wrote:  
(08-21-2022 06:47 PM)ijabbott Wrote:  I didn't know about the Casio AL-8, AL-10 and AL-8S. I think the first scientific model with fraction support was the Casio fx-29.

The earlier Casio fx-19 from 1976 supports fractions too.
http://www.voidware.com/calcs/fx19.htm

Thanks!

You know, I did look at pictures of that before, but I completely missed the "a b/c" button at the top-right position of the keyboard!

— Ian Abbott
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