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University of Connecticut Assistive Technology Oral History Project

Ed Prentke, P.E.

Posthumously provided by Barry Romich

Date: February 1, 2007

Snippet 1: "Tell us about the early years of Ed Prentke" (1:33)

Snippet 2: "How did you happen to meet Ed Prentke?" (2:40)

Snippet 2: "The Renaissance Tinkerer?" (1:31)

Download: Full Transcript

Born in 1904, Edwin Prentke was co-founder of Prentke Romich Company and died at age 103 in 2007.

Creating the story of his two remarkable lives, one before and one after retirement, Barry talks about Ed's passion for yellow cars, his graduation from Case School of Applied Science in electrical engineering, and his expertise with radios when the field of electronics was in its infancy. Operating a machine shop to support the war effort, teaching courses in electronics, running a retail camera store, and finally retiring,

Ed discovered he had too much vitality to sit back and watch the world go by. In his retirement job in a rehabilitation center research project linked to Case Institute of Technology, he met Barry and they started working on technology solutions for those with high-level spinal cord injuries. Barry tells about how this evolved into PRC and Ed's legacy of creativity and technological wizardry, always highly respectful of people and doing what he could to help people have better lives.