Jerry Merryman, the Inventor of Portable Calculator, Dies at 86

One of the inventors of the portable electronic calculator Jerry Merryman has died. He was 86 when he left the world. Jerry was described by the people who knew him as a kind hearted person with a good sense of humour. They considered him brilliant for the invention of the hand-held calculator.

He died on February in a hospital at Dallas due to the heart complications and kidney failure, his stepdaughter, Kim Ikovic said. Since late December, he had been hospitalised after he experienced some complications during the pacemaker installation surgery.

Jerry was among the three men who are praised for inventing this hand-held electronic calculator when they worked at Texas Instruments at Dallas. Jack Kilby was the leader of the team. He developed an integrated circuit and made way for new computers, and he won the Nobel Prize. The prototype of which was built by the team is at Smithsonian Institute.

Jerry’s former colleague of TI and friend Vernon Porter has described him as one of the brilliant human beings he had ever met in his life. He also shared that his friend Jerry had a great memory and from any subject, he could pull out some information, formulas.

Another friend and former colleagues from TI, Ed Millis, said Jerry worked for three days and nights on the circuit design of the revolutionary invention. In 2013, Merryman told “All Things Considered” of NPR that it was late 1965. Jim Kilby was his boss who had presented the idea of the calculator. Once, he called few people to his office and said, some computing device would be great in place of a slide rule. He also desired it to be small like a book so that it can fit in hand.

Little did they knew that the invention would be such an electronic revolution to make a wave around the world.

Show More

Jonas Whites

As a cyber security analyst, Jonas Whites conducts risk analyses and vulnerability testing to suggest the solutions according to the client's specifications or after a thorough evaluation. Further, in his free time, Jonas's only way to kill his boredom is by reading books, his top picks are Neuromancer, The Sky is Falling, and The Da Vinci Code.
Back to top button