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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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    "...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...."
  • Until a man duplicates a blade of grass
    by Earth Day, Thomas Alva Edison Inventor

    "...Until a man duplicates a blade of grass, Nature can laugh at his so-called scientific knowledge. Remedies from chemicals will never stand in favorable comparison with the products of Nature, the living cell of a plant, the final result of the rays of the sun, the mother of all life...."

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    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?) Harvard Medical School
    about Eyesight Myth and Fact

    Myth: Staring at a computer screen all day is harmful to the eyes. Fact: Spending the day staring at a screen can tire or strain your eyes, but it will not hurt them. Make sure lighting doesn't create a glare on your screen. When spending long periods at your keyboard, take a break now and then to rest your eyes to reduce fatigue. Also, don't forget to blink. Your eyes need to stay lubricated to feel comfortable.

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