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News Archive - Victor 3900 Introduction

Victor 3900 Electronic Calculator Introduction Article
Electronics, October 18, 1965

Short article announcing the introduction of the first commercial application of MOS integrated circuts in the Victor 3900 electronic calculator. The calculator was introduced at the Business Equipment Manufacturers Association show in New York during the week of October 25, 1965. The Victor 3900 was the first electronic calculator to ever use "large scale" MOS integrated circuits. While a watershed device, there were a lot of problems with the IC technology, which was pushed to its limits, and though approximately 1000 of the calculators were produced and sold, many of the machines did not run reliably and were returned after numerous attempts at repair had failed. The result was that the manufacturer of the ICs, General Micro-electronics, ended up in financial trouble, and was sold to Philco-Ford not long after the calculator went to market. Philco-Ford continued to sell/service the machines for a short time, but it became clear that it was a losing battle, and the machine was discontinued. Philco-Ford did, however, maintain the integrated circuit design part of GM-e, which became Philco-Ford Microelectronics.