Yes we can make quality in the West

Just searching through my desk drawer I came across one of my first calculators from the late 1970's at the time when I would be in the 4th or 5th year at Senior school (Aelfgar for those who may know the area now long gone).

Simple functions, and LED tunnel display, but inserting a new 9V battery it sprung into life.

The best bit came when I read the back plate, yes it was made in the "United Kingdom".


This should give hope for us all in the West that we made quality products that last the test of time, and should prove production should return once again.

Steve, G1KQH, is a regular contributor to and writes from England. Contact him at [email protected].

2 Responses to “Yes we can make quality in the West”

  • Mark W4MMR:

    Yes! Commodore Business Machine calculators were very popular in the US in spite of the insertion of Texas Instruments in the mid-seventies. Nice collector’s item for sure. Brings back the memories of the excitement that the emerging handheld calculator market was delivering.


  • Craig - N7LB:

    The issue of quality really never was a problem for “most” western manufacturers, it was the price most folks were willing to pay to get it.

    Far too often I’ve heard many hams say they would gladly purchase a U.S. made handheld radio, for example, for the higher level of quality, better tech support, better manual, etc., but only if it were just 5-10% higher in cost than the cheapest Baofeng radio they can find on the internet.

    Simply put, that’s never going to happen with U.S. labor costs, and because so many folks vote with their wallets the cheaper stuff normally gets purchased.

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