Copyright 2007 by John Blankenbaker

The name “Kenbak” was derived from my surname, Blankenbaker. The full name was too long so a search was made for a subset of the letters.

I observed the consecutive set of letters “kenbak” was similar to “Kodak” with the beginning and ending “k’s.  George Eastman, the originator of that name, succeeded by making the camera affordable to every person.  I wanted to do the same thing with the computer so I was happy to have a name suggesting the mass market.

My wife warned me that there would be a spelling problem but I thought that if people could learn to spell Kodak then they could learn to spell Kenbak. My wife was correct. Many people wanted to spell the name as Kenback which is how it is pronounced.

The additional of the “-1” after the name Kenbak was to be prepared for the future models. The corporation, when it was formed, was called Kenbak Corporation.

The design of the computer and the instructional material were entirely my work. I was assisted by my brother Joe in laying tape on the mylar sheets which defined the logic board.

For most of the time that Kenbak Corporation was operating, I was the sole “employee” of the company.

Except for a few months, the operation was located in my garage.

Later the rights were sold to the CTI Educational Corporation who continued the work. Some of the computers, functionally equivalent to the original units, bear their name.

The Name