CASIO Mini celebrates its 40th AnniversaryNorderstedt, 15 March 2013. 40 years ago, the electronic calculator revolution extended into everyday life: the CASIO Mini was the first calculator to enter the market with a focus on general applications. Priced at around DM 160 (€ 81,81), the device was affordable for many. Up until that point, electronic calculators had often cost well over DM 1,000 (€ 511,29), weighed several kilograms and were only used by scientists and accountants. One million of these new, much lighter CASIO Mini calculators were sold within ten months. Today CASIO calculators are a common feature in many countries all over the world.
Small, handy and affordable: the world’s first calculator for private use, the CASIO Mini, was launched 40 years ago
From a relay to a graphing calculator
CASIO’s story and the history of the electronic calculator began with the development of the first compact and fully electronic relay calculator in 1957: the CASIO 14-A. What made the calculator unique was that it used an electronic relay rather than the mechanical gears common at that time. In 1965, the 001 model, the world’s first electronic calculator with memory function, was launched. Two further milestones soon followed: CASIO produced the CASIO Mini – the first calculator affordable – in 1985 introduced the first technical and scientific calculator. The displays of the technical and scientific calculator not only showed numbers, but also graphs as well as geometric shapes.
The calculator as a teaching tool
Step by step calculators were established in schools. Teachers and parents were sceptical to start with, worrying that pupils might forget how to calculate in their heads. These initial concerns no longer play a role today. School calculators have since established themselves as a learning tool in maths classes. Rather than a simple calculator, more and more pupils are using graphing calculators, which are required at schools in various federal states in Germany. The advantages are obvious: pupils can easily understand abstract mathematical concepts when shown on the display and work more effectively on practical examples in class. The graphing calculator carries out laborious routine calculator tasks for the pupils, leaving more time for individual learning and discovery.
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