On this day: The stock ticker is introduced
On November 15, 1867, the stock ticker was introduced in New York City. Inventor Edward Calahan rebuilt a telegraph machine to print stock information, revolutionizing the speed at which transaction prices and volume information were transmitted. Before that, quotes from the New York Stock Exchange were typically relayed to main telegraph offices, transcribed, and then delivered by messengers. The ticker got its name from the sound the device made as it printed information on a strip of paper.
This photograph from the Museum of the City of New York shows the interior of the Bar Cafe Savarin, reputedly the leading saloon and restaurant in New York City’s financial district, with two stock market tickers set up on the floor. Incidentally, the bar was owned by the Equitable Life Assurance Society, which raised the hackles of the writer of this 1904 article in The Era.