The Friden Model 132 electronic calculator (1965) has the four
basic arithmetic functions: add, subtract, multiply and divide.
Square-rooting was an optional feature (not present on our Model 130 machine, nr 06.14);
compared to the electromechanical calculators of the time this was
a major improvement, besides speed, quiet operation and robustness.
The Friden 132 calculator uses 'reversed polish notation':
2+(3/8) is keyed in as 2 enter 3 enter 8 / +.
This principle, which obviates the use of parentheses, was later
followed in the well-known pocket calculators of
The results of the computation are shown on a small CRT screen. The
machine is built from separate transistors, memory is implemented
using a magnetostrictive delay line.
The machine is a fine example of careful industrial design. At its introduction in 1965, the calculator cost US$ 1950 - the price of a car.
Our Friden 132 has been in use at the UvA Medical Physics Laboratory.
The website of the Old Calculator Museum provides a detailed description, including an explanation of the machine's ingenious square-rooting algorithm.
Rev. February 7, 2017.