Dictaphone Desktop Calculators

updated October 22, 2002

The Dictaphone company, a successful manufacturer and distributor of business machines including their famous dictation units, entered the electronic calculator market in the 1969 and offered several desktop and portable models before withdrawing from the market in the mid-1970s. The calculators were manufactured for them in Japan by Sanyo Corporation. It is not known if Sanyo marketed the same calculator under its own name in the United States, but the company likely marketed the same machines in Japan under the Sanyo name.

Dictaphone 1420 Desktop Calculator

The Dictaphone model 1420 calculator was on the market in 1970. It is a fairly large machine, and is unusual in that it utilized incandescent bulbs for its 14-digit display, in the familiar seven-segment pattern. Another unusual feature is the slider below the display that sets the fixed decimal point. The machine has a card cage with several printed circuit boards, each with Small-Scale-Integration (SSI) integrated circuits. The logic appears to be either early DTL or TTL logic. The ICs were manufactured by both Philco and Mitsubishi, so the IC technology was not proprietary to one manufacturer. Retail price of the machine in 1970 was $875.00.

Following are some photographs of the Dictaphone 1420 and it's internal construction. Additional details will be provided in a later update.

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Text and images © Copyright 1999-2002 by Alex Knight, all rights reserved.