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Hand-held Electronic Calculator Designer Dies

PostPosted: March 6th, 2019, 7:06 pm
by toucana
Jack Kilby [L] - James Merryman [R] 1997

James Merryman, one of the co-inventors of the hand-held electronic calculator has died aged 86.

Merryman was part of a team of three men credited with inventing the hand-held calculator in 1967 while working at Texas Instruments. The team was led by Nobel laureate Jack Kilby, inventor of the first integrated circuit, and also included James Van Tassel.

A former TI colleague and friend, Ed Millis, said, “Jerry did the circuit design on this thing in three days, and if he was ever around, he’d lean over and say, ‘and nights.”

Merryman told NPR’s “All Things Considered” in 2013, “It was late 1965 and Jack Kilby, my boss, presented the idea of a calculator. He called some people in his office. He says, we’d like to have some sort of computing device, perhaps to replace the slide rule. It would be nice if it were as small as this little book that I have in my hand.”

Merryman added, “Silly me, I thought we were just making a calculator, but we were creating an electronic revolution.”