Stock Ticker Machine

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The stock-ticker machine was a device very much like the present-day digital stock ticker. It was a ticker-tape machine that would continuously send updates on stock prices to traders not physically on the Stock Exchange floor. This version/use of the ticker-tape machine helped to close the gap between time and space in the business world, helping to improve the economy.


The Stock Exchange floor was a hectic place to be. Gold was traded against paper money, or "greenbacks" as they were called. "Messengers would rush to and from the exchange to bring news of prices to customers, and the tidings would be sent by telegraph throughout the country." The original stock-ticker claims to be invented by different people, as inventions tend to be. One was Frank Pope, then the general manager of the Gold & Stock Reporting Telegraph Co. Samuel Laws's ticker, put into use in 1866 in order to reduce floor traffic, was a battery powered clock-like device that printed out ticker tape with updated gold prices. He would have it placed in the exchange's window for all traders to see. Eventually, his ticker updated prices on commodities as well. The other was Edward A. Calahan, whose version fronted the Gold Stock Telegraph Co. Calahan's in 1867. The two rival companies sued each other over copyright infringements, but to no avail (Sobel).