HP has announced it has received an award - for a product it launched 37 years ago in 1972.

The HP-35, the world's first handheld scientific calculator, has just been granted an IEEE Milestone in Electrical Engineering and Computing award for "standing the test of time".

State-of-the-art at the time, the HP-35 cost $395 at launch - the equivalent of around 2 month's rent. HP says the HP-35 was the company's "first consumer electronic device" with more than 100,000 sold during its first year on the market.

Although most of us will know scientific calculators as mysterious objects from GCSE maths with those inexplicable COS, SIN, TAN buttons, an HP-35 has travelled to the top of Mount Everest, been employed to navigate ships, and has been used by astronauts to calculate the exact angle of re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere.

Durable as well as useful, HP claims HP-35s have survived being run over by a Ford Gran Torino, gone through a snow blower and spent 41 days in the digestive tract of a hippo.

An IEEE Milestone plaque recording the award will be displayed at HP Labs in Palo Alto, California, the site where the HP-35 was originally developed.