We’re gonna have to pass on that.

Happy Throwback Thursday, friends!  On today’s date in 1938, just 82 years ago, an important invention was born.  But before we get to that, let’s take a look at the inventor and when he was born.  Chester Carlson was born on February 8, 1906 in Seattle, Washington.

Shortly after Chester’s birth, his father, Olaf Carlson, contracted tuberculosis.  Olaf eventually recovered, but by the time Chester was 4, he moved the family to Mexico for 7 months, hoping to get rich in a land scheme.  However, while they were there, Chester’s mother, Ellen contracted malaria, and the family returned to Washington.

Around this time, Olaf started developing arthritis of the spine, which was a common, age-related disease of the time.  Because his parents were unable to work full-time due to their illnesses, Chester began taking odd jobs by the time he was 8, in order to help support the family.

By the age of 10, Chester devised a way to generate even more money for his family, by creating a newspaper called “This and That.”  He created the newspaper by hand and circulated it among his friends.  He showed such joy in creating his newspaper that his aunt gave him a toy typewriter that year for Christmas which he cherished, though he was disappointed that it wasn’t a real office typewriter.  His other favorite item to play with during those days was a rubber stamp printing set.

By the time Chester was 13, he worked up to 3 hours a day before school, then went to school, then returned to work for another few hours before dinner. This necessity continued throughout his high school career.

During high school, while Chester maintained his adoration of printing and duplicating, he fell in love with chemistry.  He found work with a local printer, and this was where he decided to create and publish a magazine for other like-minded science and chemistry students.  He felt lucky when the printer was willing to sell him an old printing press for the cost of working extra hours.  With little spare time, the life of his magazine ended after two issues.  But Chester didn’t give up his love of science.  In fact, he enjoyed reading about Thomas Edison and other successful inventors, and this gave him a dream of one day inventing something so grand that it would not only make a contribution to society, but it would vastly improve his own economic status. He started keeping an inventor’s notebook handy and would jot down ideas whenever he had them.

When Chester was 17, his mother Ellen died of tuberculosis.  Because he had to work so many long hours, Chester had to take a postgraduate year at San Bernardino High School to make up missed courses before he was allowed to enter a work/study program at Riverside Junior College where he alternated working and attending classes every 6 weeks.  He maintained 3 job at the time which paid for a small one-bedroom apartment for himself and his father.

Three years later, Chester transferred to Caltech, and he added mowing yards and other odd jobs on weekends and working at a cement factory in the summer to his resume.  He graduated with a B.S. degree in Physics in 1930 at which time, he applied to more than 80 companies, but because of the Great Depression, none offered him a job.

Eventually, Bell Telephone Laboratories in New York City offered him a position as a research engineer. Chester took the job but soon found the work boring, and a year later, he transferred to the patent department as an assistant to one of the company’s patent attorneys.

During his time at Bell Labs, he logged more than 400 ideas for new inventions.  But his childhood love of printing kept nagging at him, especially since his position with the patent attorney inspired his determination to find a better way to copy documents.

Though the exact date is unknown, Chester’s father Olaf died either in 1932 or 33.  Also in 1933, Chester lost his job and was unemployed for 6 weeks until he took a position at Austin & Dix near Wall Street.  The following year, he took a better job at the electronics firm P. R. Mallory Company (which is currently known as Duracell), and he was soon promoted to head of the patent department.  He got married in 1934, and because his job was unfulfilling, in 1936, he began to attend night school at New York Law School and received a law degree in 1939.

While he studied, he went to the New York Public Library and copied law books in longhand because he could not afford to buy them.  This laborious task cemented his resolve to develop a true copying machine.

He studied on the matter and conducted early experiments in his apartment kitchen, however, these often ended up as smoky smelly, and exploding messes.  After one particularly difficult to extinguish fire, he rented a room in Astoria, Queens for doing further experiments and He hired an out-of-work Austrian physicist named Otto Kornei as his assistant.  Around this time, Chester developed arthritis of the spine, but he kept working.

After numerous experiments, on October 22, 1938, Chester and Kornei wrote “10.-22.-38 ASTORIA” in India ink on a glass microscope slide, then after preparing their process, they successfully made the world’s first xerographic copy!

Kornei was not as stoked about their invention as Chester was.  A few months later, he left on cordial terms to find work elsewhere, and in so doing, dissolve their agreement that would have given Kornei ten percent of any future proceeds from and partial rights to their invention.

Chester attempted to get funding for his invention but between 1939 and 1944, more than twenty companies turned him down.  Companies, including IBM, Kodak, The U.S. Navy, RCA, and others all passed, stating that they didn’t see the use of such a machine.  It was nearly another decade before Chester found someone who was interested enough to take the idea and help him run with it.

By 1948, a professor at Ohio State University suggested the term xerography—formed by combining the Greek words xeros (“dry”) and graphein (“writing”) for the invention, and on October 22, 1948, one decade to the day after the first microscope slide was copied, the Haloid Company made the first public announcement of xerography.

The following year, it shipped out the first commercial photocopier: the XeroX Model A Copier, known inside the company as the “Ox Box.”

A few years later, after the kinks were worked out, Chester remembered his former assistant Kornei and sent him a gift of 100 shares in the Xerox company.  Had Kornei held onto that gift, it would have been worth more than $1 million by 1972.

All told, Chester Carlson is indeed the father of modern copying technology.  His tenacity paid off after years of trial and error and being turned down by many major corporations who have undoubtedly since kicked themselves a million times over.  Can you imagine how they must have felt when their own companies ended up placing an order for an early Xerox machine?  They must have felt no less disappointed than the people who first passed over Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon, to name but a few.

At any rate, Happy Birthday, Xerox!

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Why Do They Get to Tell Me What to Do?

Wednesday is the day YOU get to “Ask an Attorney.”  Just leave your question in the comments below, and if your question is selected, it will be answered on an upcoming Wednesday by one of our attorneys at Dean Burnetti Law.

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Jerry R. from Tampa asks, “My upper back and neck were injured in a car accident a few months ago.  Now, my attorney’s office has informed me that I must attend something called a C.M.E.  What is this and why do I have to go to it since I didn’t cause the accident?”

Hi, Jerry.  I’m sorry you’re dealing with an injury.  The acronym C.M.E. stands for Compulsory Medical Examination.  This is an examination by a real doctor who has been hired by the insurance company.  Their ultimate goal is to determine if your injury is really as bad as you say it is and whether or not you may have had a pre-existing condition that exacerbated your current level of pain.

Oftentimes, your own attorney will schedule either a court reporter or a videographer to accompany you to this examination.  This is so that the doctor cannot report that you said something or had a full range of motion, etc., upon examination, and their goal is to minimize the seriousness of your injury.  As your attorney will likely explain, it is important that you realize that the doctor works for the defense team, and even if he or she appears to be friendly and engaging, you should be polite, be honest, but stick to the facts and avoid chitchat or small talk.

Sometimes, a lawyer will have you schedule an appointment with your own doctor on the same day as your C.M.E. appointment.  This enables your legal team to compare and contrast the findings of both doctors as to how you might react to the same tests on the same day.  (For example, your own doctor might say you cannot turn your head more than a quarter-turn, while the C.M.E. doctor might report that you have full range of motion.)

While this might seem like an unfair practice because, as you mentioned, you didn’t cause your accident, the law allows these examinations to take place to be fair to the insurance companies who, at times, are presented with false or exaggerated claims.  This is why you cannot treat this as an optional examination or go in there with an attitude of refusing to cooperate.  As a Plaintiff’s advocate, while I do not like these practices, I do understand the need for fairness in the legal system; and ultimately, when my clients are injured, we find a way to prove that so that they can be appropriately compensated.

Best wishes!

~Dean Burnetti

[If you have a question for one of our attorneys, please write it in the comments below, and be sure to check back soon for a response.]

(The information contained herein is for informational purposes only, and does not constitute legal advice.)

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In the Wake of Destruction, A Single Dollar…

It’s “Tuesday Newsday,” the day when Dean Burnetti Law brings you news of recalls, legal or political events, other important happenings, or just uplifting stories that make your heart smile…

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Happy Tuesday Newsday, friends!  On October 11, the Oregon Historical Society building was damaged after a protest became a riot.  Demonstrators pulled down statues of Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln in response to the Columbus Day holiday.

Rioters smashed Oregon Historical Society widows, threw flares into the building, and took a handmade Afro-American Heritage Bicentennial Commemorative Quilt which was sewn by was sewn by 15 Black women from Portland in the 1970s.  (The quilt was later recovered after being abandoned outside in the rain.)

Along with the Historical Society, numerous businesses were also damaged by rioters, according to Portland police. Three people were arrested in connection with the riot, with more arrests possible.

The society’s executive director, Kerry Tymchuk, was heartsick over the mass of destruction, and noted that rioters were wrong if they believed that the society doesn’t pay homage to Oregon’s Native Americans.

But the good news is that numerous donations and new memberships were made in response to the wake of the destruction, and the museum expects to fully recover.  However, while every single donation was greatly appreciated, even the largest donations didn’t compare to the $1 bill that was donated by a homeless man known simply as Oscar.

The dollar was accompanied by a handwritten note on a napkin.  The donor saw the damage and wanted to help by offering some of his bottle-collecting money, because the Oregon Historical Society once gave him a free tour before the pandemic, “so this is a thank you!”

The Oregon Historical Society released a statement Monday saying, in part, “For everyone who has called, emailed, or sent us messages of support, we can’t thank you enough for your kindness during this difficult time.”

What a sincere gesture of pure kindness!

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Never a Waste of Time

It’s Monday. Welcome to a new week. Today is the day for “Monday Ministry.” Did you know that Attorney Dean Burnetti went to seminary before he was called to the legal field?  The following* is a devotion given to you by Dean…

1 Corinthians 15:58 – “So then, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm and steady. Keep busy always in your work for the Lord, since you know that nothing you do in the Lord’s service is ever useless.”

Have you ever had one of those days where it feels as though you’ve been busy every moment but yet seem to accomplish very little?  I think we all have those particular kinds of days, and this has been one of those for me.

coffee

I finally stopped to read this verse only to appreciate that in those moments when I feel unproductive, I stop and refocus on something that would be of service to God. So I got up from my chair and spent time going around talking to the people in my office. Some of them have special circumstances and needs. Some of them just simply needed a word of encouragement.

Now that I’ve finished, I realized that time was the most productive part of my day. They may have been small things in conversation, but they were all things that were in my service to God. Ultimately, I felt much better, and I became more productive because of my focus on the service that was most important in my life.

Today, you may be having one of those days when you just feel like you’re spinning and going nowhere. Stop and refocus on your service to the Lord. It may be something simple like showing somebody concern about their life and the problems that they’re facing. It may be just a word of encouragement. It may be something as simple as sharing a cup of coffee. But it will make all the difference in the focus of your life.

Boy it’s great to be a Christian!

Stay healthy and have a blessed week!

~Dean Burnetti

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Seventy

Happy Weekend, Friends!

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One Little Letter, One Great Beard

Happy Throwback Thursday, friends!  Today’s journey to the WayBack takes us to what was likely the evening before today’s date, October 15th, in 1860, just 160 years ago… which happens to be during the midst of another Presidential election.

Grace Greenwood Bedell was an 11-year-old girl living in Westfield, New York.  Her father, Norman Bedell, had been to the fair and brought home an election jugate (which was a card featuring two photos of the presidential and vice-presidential candidates) of Abraham Lincoln and his running mate, Hannibal Hamlin.

But rather than being impressed, Grace was immediately distressed by Mr. Lincoln’s photo!  She stared at what she later described as Lincoln’s “high forehead over those sadly pathetic eyes, the angular lower face with the deep cut lines about the mouth.”  Deciding that Abe needed to immediately improve his gaunt appearance, she told her mother, Amanda, that, “He would look better if he wore whiskers, and I mean to write and tell him so!”

And so she did.  She penned the following letter and put it in the post the following day:

October 15, 1860

From: Grace Bedell, 34 Academy Street, Westfield, New York

Hon. A. B. Lincoln…

Dear Sir,

My father has just home from the fair and brought home your picture and Mr. Hamlin’s. I am a little girl, only 11 years old, but want you should be President of the United States very much, so I hope you won’t think me very bold to write to such a great man as you are. Have you any little girls about as large as I am?  If so, give them my love and tell her to write to me if you cannot answer this letter. I have yet got four brothers and part of them will vote for you any way, and if you let your whiskers grow, I will try and get the rest of them to vote for you.  You would look a great deal better, for your face is so thin. All the ladies like whiskers, and they would tease their husbands to vote for you and then you would be President. My father is going to vote for you, and if I was a man, I would vote for you too.  But I will try to get everyone to vote for you that I can.  I think that rail fence around your picture makes it look very pretty.  I have got a little baby sister.  She is nine weeks old and is just as cunning as can be. When you direct your letter, direct to Grace Bedell, Westfield, Chautauqua County, New York.

I must not write any more.  Answer this letter right off.

Good bye,

Grace Bedell

Remember, at the time Grace wrote her letter, women couldn’t vote yet, so this little girl’s opinion would have mattered even less to an important politician back then.  But not Abraham Lincoln…

Just four days later, Mr. Lincoln replied to Grace’s letter with the following:

Springfield, Ill.

Oct 19, 1860

Miss Grace Bedell

My dear little Miss,

Your very agreeable letter of the 15th is received. I regret the necessity of saying I have no daughters. I have three sons – one seventeen, one nine, and one seven, years of age. They, with their mother, constitute my whole family. As to the whiskers, having never worn any, do you not think people would call it a silly affectation if I were to begin it now?

Your very sincere well wisher,

A.Lincoln

Wow!  And one might think this would be the end of their story.  If so, one would be wrong.

A short time after this exchange, Mr. Lincoln started to grow a full set of whiskers.  (Indeed, August 13, 1860 marks the last photo taken of Mr. Lincoln with a smooth face!)  By the time he began his inaugural train ride from his home state of Illinois down to Washington, D.C., he indeed had a full beard.  His journey took him through New York, and he made sure to schedule a stop in Westfield.

As the train pulled into the station, a crowd of thousands had gathered.  He said from the platform, “I have a corresponded in this place.  If she is present, I would like to see her.”

“Who is she?” the crowd asked

He nodded.  “Her name is Grace Bedell.”

After a slight commotion, an old man struggled to get through the masses, leading his daughter, Grace, to the train.  The man introduced the child, and Mr. Lincoln stooped down and kissed the girl, then spoke with her for several minutes. Years later, she recalled the event saying, “He climbed down and sat down with me on the edge of the station platform.  ‘Gracie,’ he said, ‘look at my whiskers. I have been growing them for you.’ Then he kissed me. I never saw him again.”

This story, though new to us, is apparently so well know that a statue depicting the meeting between Lincoln and Grace is located in the center of the village of Westfield.  It’s also inspired children’s books and even a couple of movies.  That just goes to show you that even a child can literally change the face of a nation!

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Food Poison = Organ Failure!

Wednesday is the day YOU get to “Ask an Attorney.”  Just leave your question in the comments below, and if your question is selected, it will be answered on an upcoming Wednesday by one of our attorneys at Dean Burnetti Law.

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Karen J. from Lakeland asks, “My mother lives in a nursing home in Southern Georgia near my sister’s house.  I typically get up there to visit her about once a month.  When Covid hit, I stopped being able to visit, and was able to video chat with her.  But now that things are opening back up, my husband and I decided to make the drive up a couple of weeks ago to see her in person.  We stayed at my sister’s house for three days, and I visited mom every day for several hours from just after breakfast until dinnertime.  On the fourth day, I visited her in the morning, had lunch with her, then picked up my husband from his cousin’s house and got on the road to come home.  As we drove, my husband was hungry, so we went through a drive-thru.  Since I’d just had lunch with mom, I just got a milkshake, and he got a meal.  About an hour later, I started feeling queasy and nauseous.  We had to pull over three times for me to get sick.  By then, I had a fever and felt lightheaded.  My husband took me to the nearest emergency room because he feared I came in contact with Covid.  Turns out, I had to stay there for 8 days because I had E. coli and my kidneys were starting to fail!  I had to have dialysis and a blood transfusion, and when I checked out, they said I will likely have kidney problems for the rest of my life!  I thought food poisoning was just some cramps and vomiting for a few hours.  I had no idea it could cause all this!  What can I do?”

Hi, Karen.  I’m very sorry about you’ve gone though.

There are actually different strains of E. coli.  While most are harmless, some can be very harmful or even fatal. E. coli is most often spread through contaminated food or water.

It sounds like you probably had Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC).  STEC causes stomach cramps, fever, diarrhea, and it can also lead to kidney failure.  The way STEC infection affects the kidneys is that it causes a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).  When someone develops HUS, the STEC bacteria destroys their red blood cells which in turn blocks and damages the kidneys’ filters, which leading to kidney failure.

About 14 years ago, the FDA linked E. coli infections in 26 states to a certain brand of baby spinach.  As a result, 31 otherwise healthy people experienced kidney failure.  Later that same year, an E. coli outbreak in 5 states was linked to contaminated lettuce which was responsible for 8 people developing kidney failure.

Negligence causing a foodborne illness can be difficult to prove, especially if the meal was consumed days prior to the diagnosis, and there is no evidence of the partial meal left to test.  In your case, because of the timing, it sounds as though you want to look to the meals you took at the nursing home as well as at your sister’s house.  I would suggest that you make a list of everywhere you ate and what you ate, then contact an experienced attorney (such as myself) right away.  Perhaps the attorney will be able to locate other people who ate in the same place had complaints of the same strain of E. coli.  While other injuries may afford a long statute of limitations, in a foodborne illness case, time is of the essence.

Best wishes!

~Dean Burnetti

[If you have a question for one of our attorneys, please write it in the comments below, and be sure to check back soon for a response.]

(The information contained herein is for informational purposes only, and does not constitute legal advice.)

 

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The Blessing Nightmare

It’s “Tuesday Newsday,” the day when Dean Burnetti Law brings you news of recalls, legal or political events, other important happenings, or just uplifting stories that make your heart smile…

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Happy Tuesday Newsday, friends! With only 73 days left until Christmas, our feature feel-good story today should fill your heart with Christmas joy.

St. Austell, Cornwall, England’s 4-year-old Pippa Jackson recently woke in a cold sweat.  No, it wasn’t Covid-related.  She’d just had a nightmare.  But this nightmare wasn’t about fighting off monsters or being lost at the mall.  It was about being skipped over by Santa!  Only it wasn’t Pippa who was forgotten, it was other children – strangers – who didn’t get to enjoy opening any presents on Christmas morning.

The next morning, Pippa’s dream stayed with her, and the details she saw caused her heart to hurt for all the kids she saw that wouldn’t have a Christmas.

Pippa’s mom, 23-year-old Kadie Jackson, realized something wasn’t right with Pippa and asked the girl to explain why she was so upset.  When Pippa described her dream in vivid detail, Kadie knew Pippa needed to do something – to act on her dream.

They sat down together and made a list of ways they could solve the problem, and in so-doing, they decided that they would ask for donated supplies, such as hats, scarves, colored pencils, etc., which could be given to needy children.  But to take things a step further, The mother-daughter duo will soon be making decorations – dry clay ornaments – to sell and the proceeds will be spent on more gifts for the deprived children.  Pippa as decidedly stated that they are preparing gifts for 200 deprived children.

Pippa has also been accepting donations from friends and family to buy items to fill the parcels.  The care packages will be separated into age groups and whether they are for boys or girls.

Kadie said that Pippa is “very kind-hearted, she has a golden heart.  She wants to help anyone in need, we’re going to go to some women’s shelters, orphanages, that sort of thing – anywhere we can to find children to help.”  Of the care packages, Kadie said, “There will be bits and bobs, little stocking fillers, funny bits like whoopee cushions, pens, coloring pencils, hats, scarves, and gloves – just in case they need them.”

She says if they get enough donations and can buy enough toys, the goal will remail 200. If they get more than that, they will go above and beyond. “The donations are going well so far.  I have some stuff from a few local shops and more will be coming soon – I think next week.”  Kadie added, “Once all the parcels and Christmas sacks have been made the presents will all be quarantined, sanitized, and wrapped.

Pippa and her mom are currently spending their evenings putting together the parcels with the donations they’ve already collected, but Pippa is certain they will have not trouble reaching their goal.

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Keep Planting

It’s Monday. Welcome to a new week. Today is the day for “Monday Ministry.” Did you know that Attorney Dean Burnetti went to seminary before he was called to the legal field?  The following* is a devotion given to you by Dean…

Matthew 13:7-8  “Some of the seed fell among thorn bushes, which grew up and choked the plants. But some seeds fell in good soil, and the plants bore grain: some had one hundred grains, others sixty, and others thirty.”

cypress

Today, I was standing in my backyard looking at the four beautiful cypress trees that I have growing along the water’s edge. These trees are just beautiful specimens that are upwards of 50 feet high.

I remember when I planted them some 22 years ago. A friend had brought me a 5 gallon bucket full of two foot young trees. The trunks were the size of pencils. The bucket must have had at least 30 to 40 trees to plant. I carefully went along the water’s edge and planted every one of those new trees. Needless to say, many of them did not take. Some of them died within just a few weeks. Others, over the next year, died as well.

By the end of the second year, I was down to less than 25% of all the trees that I planted. Within less than five years, I was down to 6. It almost sounds sort of discouraging to have lost so many trees that I planted. But as of today, when I look out over the trees that I now have, I have been truly blessed.

As believers, we plant young trees when we witness, give testimony, and share the good news of Jesus Christ. Just like the trees that I planted, many will not take. Ultimately, there may be only a fraction of those new trees you plant that turn into mature and great trees.

Do not be discouraged. It is not your job to make the trees grow. Your job is to plant. God works the growing part.

Just know that one day, you may look up at that one great tree and realize it was worth all your labor and time.

Stay healthy and have a blessed week!

~Dean Burnetti

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Ahh, Friday!

Have a super weekend, friends!

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