Zayre CONCEPT Calculator Series

DATAMATH  CALCULATOR  MUSEUM

Zayre CONCEPT Calculator Series

Overview

Zayre Corporation was founded in 1956 by Stanley and Sumner Feldberg in Hyannis, Massachusetts tracing back to the New England Trading Company in Boston founded already in 1919 by the two brothers Max and Morris Feldberg.
Zayre (Gut), which means "very good" in Yiddish, was started as a discount department store chain.

In 1976 Zayre launched T.J. Maxx, a new off-price chain selling family apparel and home fashions and in 1984 a new warehouse retail concept to the Northeast called BJ's Wholesale Club was introduced. In 1988, Zayre sold their own nameplate to Ames Department Stores, Inc., a rival discount department store chain, and the company renamed itself to The TJX Companies, Incorporated. Ames acquired the bankrupt 392 Zayre stores, closing 74 of them. After some reorganizing in 1990 Ames announced in August 2002 to go out of business and closed the remaining shops in October 2002. 

Zayre launched already in August 1975 the CONCEPT series of portable electronic calculators with the introduction of the first CONCEPT 24, probably a rebadged Lloyds calculator. From much higher interest for the Datamath Calculator Museum are the CONCEPT I, CONCEPT II, and CONCEPT III calculators introduced in June 1976 and based on the Texas Instruments TI-1200, TI-1250, resp. SR-16 II calculators. The CONCEPT series was discharged in August 1977 with the clearance sale of the CONCEPT COMPACT calculators.

We recently researched with the incredible Google news [Search Archives] function hundreds of American newspapers and compiled a complete timeline of the Zayre CONCEPT calculators.

Timeline of Zayre CONCEPT Calculator Series

Publication Date Calculator Advertisement

Remarks, SRP

August 17, 1975 CONCEPT 24
(Version 1)

First advertisement of the CONCEPT calculator.

SRP $19.88

August 31, 1975 CONCEPT 24
(Version 1)
Second advertisement of the CONCEPT24 calculator.

SRP $19.88  reg $24.88
January 4, 1976 CONCEPT 24
(Version 2)
First advertisement of the CONCEPT 24 (Version 2,
aka Style 8138) calculator.

SRP $18.88  reg $24.88

March 14, 1976 CONCEPT 10 First advertisement of the CONCEPT 10 calculator.

SRP $9.66
May 23, 1976 CONCEPT 24
(Version 2)
Second advertisement of the CONCEPT 24 (Version 2,
aka Style 8138) calculator.

SRP $14.99  reg $19.99

 
May 27, 1976 CONCEPT 10 Second advertisement of the CONCEPT 10 calculator.

SRP $6.00  reg $9.66
June 24, 1976 CONCEPT I First advertisement of the CONCEPT I calculator.

SRP $14.77  
June 24, 1976 CONCEPT III First advertisement of the CONCEPT III calculator.

SRP $28.88
September 12, 1976 CONCEPT I Second advertisement of the CONCEPT I calculator.

SRP $9.97  reg $14.77
September 12, 1976 CONCEPT III Second advertisement of the CONCEPT II calculator.

SRP $27.77  reg $32.77
October 10, 1976 CONCEPT 24
(Version 3)
First advertisement of the CONCEPT 24 (Version 3,
aka Style 8161) calculator.

SRP $14.00  reg $19.99

October 10, 1976 CONCEPT
COMPACT
First advertisement of the CONCEPT COMPACT calculator.

SRP $29.00
November 13, 1976 CONCEPT I Third advertisement of the CONCEPT I calculator.

SRP $10.88  reg $13.88
November 13, 1976 CONCEPT II First advertisement of the CONCEPT II calculator.

SRP $13.88  reg $16.88
December 12, 1976 CONCEPT 24
(Version 3)
Second advertisement of the CONCEPT 24 (Version 3,
aka Style 8161) calculator.

SRP $13.88  reg $19.99

January 2, 1977 CONCEPT I
CONCEPT II
CONCEPT 10
CONCEPT 24
CONCEPT 24
Concept-I_4_AD.jpg (57518 Byte) Blow-out sales!

CONCEPT I, CONCEPT 10: $6.99
CONCEPT II, CONCEPT 24
(Version 2 or 3): $9.99

July 11, 1977 CONCEPT V First advertisement of the CONCEPT V calculator.

SRP $5.00  reg $6.99
August 7, 1977 CONCEPT
COMPACT
Blow-out sales!

CONCEPT COMPACT: $8.88



How rare is this calculator?

This is probably the most put question to the Datamath Calculator Museum. The answer is not easy, but we have to factor in two figures:

 
How many calculators survived?
How many calculators were manufactured and sold?

The Texas Instruments TI-1200 and TI-1250 were manufactured in the millions and you find them still everyday on flew-markets, online auctions or as common trades between calculator collectors. The SR-16 II is slightly more difficult to find, it was replaced after less than a year by the successful TI-30 / SR-40 calculators. 

But the CONCEPT I, CONCEPT II, and CONCEPT III calculators share a completely different story! These calculators were distributed exclusively by Zayre Corporation in a very short time slot between June 1976 and December 1976. To make it worse – from a collectors point of view – was 1976 the climax of the Calculator War and every week cheaper yet more sophisticated calculators arrived in the shelves of the department stores.

As a matter of fact survived only few of these calculators and (as of January 14, 2010) we know:

Texas Instruments CONCEPT I

Serial
Number
Date
Code
Owner Remarks
1006208 LTA 0876  Mark Bollman  
1009972 LTA 0876  Robert Hartl  
1011127 LTA 0876  Godfrey P. Miles  
1002449 LTA 1076  lainyscoolstuff  
1003174 LTA 1076  Willy Van der Putten  
1003287 LTA 1076  Stefan Klaes  
1026260 LTA 1076  Sean Tamblyn  
1022805 LTA 4376  Joerg Woerner  
1025727 LTA 3876  Joerg Woerner  
1028770 LTA 3876  Emmanuel Verbeeck  
1030820 LTA 4376  Victor Ford  
1033570 LTA 4376  Scott  
1035661 LTA 4376  Marie Lisa Collas  

 

Texas Instruments CONCEPT II

Serial
Number
Date
Code
Owner Remarks
1002920 LTA 0876  Marie Lisa Collas  
1004866 LTA 1076  Peter Salz  
1009472 LTA 0876  Ken Meine  
1013416 LTA 0876  Joerg Woerner  
1003039 LTA 1076  Stefan Klaes  
1015443 LTA 1676  Joerg Woerner  
1021805 LTA 2376  Mark Bollman  
1026227 LTA 2376  Robert Lacoste  
1008636 LTA 4276  Joerg Woerner  
1008636 LTA 4276  Joerg Woerner  
1002208 LTA 4376  Marie-Thérèse Perget  
1003148 LTA 4376  Godfrey P. Miles  
1005061 LTA 4376  Emmanuel Verbeeck  
- LTA 4376  Rohit Menon  
1008718 LTA 4576  Judith Queen  

 

Texas Instruments CONCEPT III

Serial
Number
Date
Code
Owner Remarks
0001487 LTA 0876  Rohit Menon  
0002554 LTA 1076  João Oliveira  
0005060 LTA 0876  George Julovich  
0005993 LTA 0876  Joerg Woerner  
0016075 LTA 0876  Joerg Woerner  
0016359 LTA 0876  Mike Konshak  
0017197 LTA 0876  Godfrey P. Miles  
0017847 LTA 0876  Joerg Woerner  
0017874 LTA 0876  Diego D.  
0005066 LTA xx76  Kirk B. Muri  
               


Fellow collectors - if you own a Texas Instruments CONCEPT I, CONCEPT II or CONCEPT III calculator,  please report us the serial number and date code from the back of the calculator for our Database.

 

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If you have additions to the above article please email: joerg@datamath.org.

© Joerg Woerner, January 14, 2010. No reprints without written permission.