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News Archive - Mathatronics Mathatron 4-24 Introduction

Mathtronics Mathatron 4-24 Announcement
Computers and Automation, March, 1964

This article is an announcement of general availability of the Mathatronics Model 4-24 calculator, which was the first calculator introduced by Mathatronics. The machine, and its higher-end sibling, the Mathatron 8-48, were actually being sold to special customers as early as July, 1963, with a formal introduction in November of 1963.

The Mathatron 4-24 was beginning of quite a line of machines made by Mathatron. The Mathatron set the benchmark for many firsts in the electronic calculator industry. It was the first algebraic entry calculator. It also was the first calculator that followed the rules of arithmetic precedence, a feature that did not appear in any other calculator until almost a decade later. The Mathatron was the first programmable electronic calculator, using learn-mode programming to store and run programs. The Mathatron was also the first printing electronic calculator, utilizing a "ticker-tape" style printer to record a full and easily-readable transcript of the calculations performed. The machine was also the first electronic calculator to utilize magnetic core memory both for working register and program storage, as well as using pre-wired magnetic core as a read-only memory to store intermal programs that directed some aspects of the machine's operation. Lastly, though not 100% substantiated at this point, it appears that the Mathatron 4-24 was the first all solid state electronic calculator available to the marketplace, beating the commonly accepted "first" solid state electronic calculator, the Friden EC-130 to the marketplace by a period of time numbered in weeks.

The Model 4-24 was followed shortly by the introduction of the model 8-48, which doubled the amount of memory registers and program steps available.