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Friden 1203 Calculator

The Friden 1203 is a fairly generic 1970’s single chip 4-function calculator. It uses a US-made chip and has inherited design and construction values from previous Friden products. Perhaps it was one of the last models to be made in the US, before Friden switched to sourcing their calculators from Japan.

It is a basic 4-function, two memory machine with accumulation, percentage and decimal selection functions.

The 1203 seems to have been designed and built with the expectation that it would provide many years of service. The machine has a service sticker underneath that records one field repair. The business model of providing and repairing simple but high-quality calculators was rapidly displaced by 4-function calculators with low design and production values that were so cheap that they could be discarded rather than repaired.