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TODAY IN HISTORY

    PUNCHBOARDS
    January 17, 1905 - Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.

    The first U.S. patent was issued for a punchboard to Charles A. Brewer and Clinton G. Scannell of Chicago, Illinois, described as “vending devices.” They were manufactured by Charles A. Brewer & Sons in the same city. (No. 780,086). Even though the equivalent of punchboards had been around for many years, they had never been available in such a neat and portable form. The invention of board stuffing machines and ticket folding and plaiting machines in the late 1910s was probably the key factor which allowed the punchboard industry to flourish. Once the boards became cheap to manufacture, they flooded the country. Noted gambling author John Scarne estimates that 30 million punchboards were sold in 1910-15.

    TELEPHONE SWITCHBOARD
    January 17, 1882 - Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.

    A telephone switchboard was issued a U.S. patent to Leroy Firman of Chicago, Illinois (No. 252,576), which was assigned to the Western Electric Manufacturing Co. Also of Chicago. With his invention of a “multiple switchboard for telephone exchanges,” Firman addressed the problem of increasing numbers of subscribers. Previously, single switchboards, each with an attendant, served their group of individual lines. A large exchange was thus divided up into a number of internal exchange switchboards which were worked together as necessary, with trunk lines between the boards. Firman devised an arrangement to handle an exchange of a thousand or more subscribers with line status information exchanged between switchmen.

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RANDOM QUOTES

  • The wealth of the nation
    by Earth Day, Gaylord Nelson

    "...The wealth of the nation is its air, water, soil, forests, minerals, rivers, lakes, oceans, scenic beauty, wildlife habitats and biodiversity that'as all there is. That'as the whole economy. That'as where all the economic activity and jobs come from. These biological systems are the sustaining wealth of the world...."
  • Happiness
    by Thomas Jefferson

    "...Our greatest happiness does not depend on the condition of life in which chance has placed us, but is always the result of a good conscience, good health, occupation, and freedom in all just pursuits...."

RANDOM FACTS

  • Drug Abuse
    about Facts about Drugs

    Facts about drugs can protect against drug abuse. Legal drugs, such as alcohol and tobacco, kill more people than illegal drugs. Tobacco (smoking cigarettes) kills more people than any other drug. Illegal drugs including heroin, cannabis, ecstasy and amphetamines can have unknown or dangerous ingredients. Mixing drugs, especially with alcohol, can be fatal. More vehicles
    about Stolen On New Year's

    More vehicles are stolen on New Year's Day than any other holiday throughout the year. (So does that mean thieves are having their last fling before changing their ways or are they trying for a big score to start the New Year?)

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