The major marketing method was to send a computer to customers who seemed to be seriously interested.  At the time, a computer could be sent by UPS or via bus for about $8.00. The potential customer could keep it two weeks and then he either bought it or returned it.

Up to the time of the first public announcement in Scientific American at the start of September 1971, the business had been conducted from my garage at 12167 Leven Lane in Los Angles. (The number 167 became the first serial number.) Then for about four months, the company, now incorporated as Kenbak Corporation, had rented space. At the end of this time, it moved back to my garage.

Kenbak Corporation had taken in five outside investors. More would have been desirable as the company was undercapitalized. It did not have the staying power for the long order cycle. Still it did sell something more than forty computers to markets as diverse as schools at all levels and private individuals. Units were sold into Italy, France, Spain, Mexico, and Canada. I now believe the marketing should have emphasized the private individual. There were a lot of people who wanted to learn more about computers.

Technically, the Kenbak-1 did everything that had been intended when the design started. The user reactions show that.


For Comments of Some Users


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Copyright 2007 John Blankenbaker

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Here is a picture of one user who seems very interested in the Kenbak-1 Computer. She is at the controls of the prototype computer  turning the lights on and off.


Isabel Blankenbaker was two and a half years old when this picture was taken in November of 2005. Her father, when he was about five years old, helped in a demonstration which resulted in a sale to a customer in Italy.