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This page presents tables of keyboards on the market from historical publications. These tables give an insight into what product types existed and when. All spelling and punctuation is as in the original. Use the CPI Inflation Calculator to convert the prices to today’s money. To give an idea, $1 in December 1969 is worth $6.94 in January 2021; $1 in December 1965 is over $8.

Manual Input Devices, 1965

The following table was included in Manual Input Devices, Computer Design Vol. 4 No. 12, December 1965, pp. 28–40 (CD1965-MID):

Mfgr. Model Technique Keys Code Comments
Burroughs Corp. 410 Electromech. 13, 16 Direct
Conn. Tech. Corp. KB-100 Electromech. 70 8 bits High-Speed unit
Invac Corp. PK-144 Photoelectric 46 8 bits Other codes
PK-164 Photoelectric 64 8 bits Available
Navcor 1050 Electronic 50 8 bits Pulse, buffered, timing outputs
1050N Electronic 16 8 bits
Soroban Engineering FK Electromech. up to 64 8 bits Up to 16 bits available on order
Teletype Corp. Electromech. 52 Direct Special purpose keys
Ultronic Systems Corp. 500 Electromech. Unlimited 5 bits Visual display
600 Electromech. Unlimited Unlimited Visual display

Terminal State-of-the-Art Survey, 1969

Some series or models are listed specifically, while in other cases only the brand name is given. This table is shown on page A-2 (PDF page 91) of Central Bibliographic System Terminal Requirements Study, Task II Report, Terminal State-of-the-Art Survey by Hobbs Associates, Inc., November 1969.

Appendix A also notes the following:

Since there are upwards of 100 manufacturers making keyboard equipments of one kind or another, this study did not compare all of the specific keyboard products from various manufacturers. Instead, different technologies or techniques for implementing keyboards were analyzed. A few selected keyboard units that are representative of the different technologies are shown in Table A-1.
Manufacturer No. of Keys Keyboard Technique Encoding in Key Module Special Comments
Clare-Pendar 88 Solid State
(reed switch & MOS)
No Encoding flexibility up to four levels, Modular
Controls Research Corp. 58 Electronic
(reed switch & diodes)
Yes Modular
Digitronics PK-275 75 Photo-electric No Maximum of 75 keys
George Risk Industries -573 73 Electronic
(reed switch & diodes)
No --
IKOR 66 Capacitive Yes No mechanical switching
Licon-550 73 Electronic
(magnetic cores)
Yes Modular
Mechanical Enterprises Inc. 55 Electromechanical
(mercury switch & diodes)
Yes --
Microswitch 63 Solid State
(Hall effect & MOS)
No Encoding flexibility up to four levels, Modular
NAVCOR-1050 50 Electronic
(reed switches & diodes)
No Buffered outputs
Synergistics 65 Electromechanical Yes Maximum of 160 keys

Users’ choice is name of keyboard game, 1969

This table was included in the article Users’ choice is name of keyboard game, Electronics Vol. 42, No. 23, 10th November 1969 pp. 145–150 (E1969-UCNKG).

Company Keying Mech. Logic Max. Bits Per Key Quantity Price In Lots Of Unit Price Keys Per Board
George Risk reed switch diode matrix 9 $190 1000 $500 73
KDI-Navcor reed switch diode matrix 14 $125 1000 $350 67
Killian reed switch diode matrix 8 $150 1000 $500* 50
Synergistics mechanical spring loaded diodes in key¹ 9 $50 1000 $125 50
Mechanical Enterprises sealed mercury movement diodes in key 10 $75 1000 $235 50
Datanetics diaphragm switch diode matrix 8 $150 500 $350 60
Micro Switch-Honeywell Hall effect device DTL 8 $100 2500 $250 50
Ikor capacitive coupling TTL 12 $140 1000 $375 67
Transducer Systems proximity transducer TTL 8 $150 5000 $500* 67
Digitronics photo cell photocell & op amp 14 $325 1000 $650 64

To give an indication of how much these keyboards cost, a $50 keyboard in December 1969 would cost (taking into account inflation) $346.93 in January 2021, while a more typical $150 keyboard would be $1,040.78.

* Plus non-recurring charge


  1. Dubious, as the actual encoding is done with multiple contacts per key and insulating mats; likely a mix-up with Mechanical Enterprises Mercutronic which does have in-key diodes