Heinrich Carlson - The time was 1849 and newly arrived immigrant, Heinrich Carlson headed to the West Coast to make his fortune in the gold fields. Unfortunately, he never made it further than Saugatuck, Michigan on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan. Having never seen a body of water that big that was not an ocean, he decided that he had arrived in California. After several months of panning, he made the horrifying discovery that there was not, and never had been any gold in Michigan.
Thoroughly discouraged, he took to his easy chair vowing never to stir from it again. His wife Marta, however, had other ideas and constantly moved his footstool away from him, requiring him to retrieve it himself. Whereupon, she would sit in the chair herself.
This lead to the one brilliant moment in an otherwise mediocre life. He built his footstool into his chair, which he could then extend and retract through the use of a lever on the side. Upon seeing this, his wife exclaimed, "Ach, you are such a Lazy Boy!" Thus the recliner was born. Heinrich sold his idea to a furniture manufacturer (being too lazy to develop the idea himself), and his fortune was made. It is a little known fact that the lever on the side of all recliners is still known as "the Carlson Lever".
Gerhart Carlson - The 1890s were known as the Mauve Decade, because of the new artificial "mauve" dye which was derived from coal tar. Gerhart spent the next ten years and a good portion of his father's money, trying to produce a "puce" dye from coal tar. However, since Gerhart was red-green color blind his "puce" always came out as a sickening green. The fashion industry was appalled by his new color, but the U.S. Army decided it was the perfect color for motivating it's soldiers. They renamed the color Olive Drab and paid Gerhart a royalty on everything they painted with it. Gerhart never worked another day in his life.
Deitrich Carlson - was not about to copy the example of his lay-about father, Gerhart. He went to New York City in the late 1920s to invest in the stock market. And on Monday, October 28, 1929, he opened his own stock brokerage. The following day, after the Black Tuesday crash, he flung himself from his office window. Since, however, his offices were on the ground floor, he sustained only minor bruises. But his spirit was broken and he returned to Michigan a broken man, none the less.
Herrman Carlson - Following a stint in the U.S. Army during World War II, Herrman returned to the unemployment and poverty into which his father's excesses had plunged the family. Putting together the fact that there was a major housing shortage and the emergence of a new material, "plastic", Herrman embarked on a venture to build plastic houses. Unfortunately, the plastics of the day were not as advanced as today's polymers and his houses tended to sag in the noon day sun. Thus during a housing boom, Herrman's venture failed, producing the first "Housing Market Slump".
Roger Carlson - The youngest son of Herrman, Roger is following proudly in the footsteps of his illustrious forebearers. In the same spirit of imaginative brilliance, he reasoned that what the world really needs are baskets. Not just any baskets, but cheap baskets sold cheaply. Thus Shortaburger brand baskets and the Carlson Basket Company were born.
It is Roger's firm belief that the world would be a better place if only people would buy, sell, trade, and collect his baskets. At least he knows that his world would be better if people did that, and if it's good enough for him, it ought to be good enough for anyone.
By buying baskets from third-world sweatshops and selling them cheap enough to undercut the competition, while still making an exorbitant markup, he feels that he is doing his part for the free market and world peace. So buying a Shortaburger basket is not just a great deal, it's your patriotic duty!
So in the spirit of "Caveate Emptor", we welcome you to the Shortaburger Family. Remember, "Nothing says love like (or as cheaply as) a Shortaburger Basket!"