November 15th, 1867: Stock Ticker

Thomas Edison's version of the stock ticker

Nowadays millions of people have access to investing advice and stock information at their fingertips at all times. Investing information obviously hasn’t always been so readily available, however. As described by History.com, a gentleman named Edward Calahan came up with the idea to configure a telegraph machine to print stock quotes. The first stock ticker was revealed on November 15th, 1867 in New York City.  The New York Stock Exchange has been in existence since 1792 and prior to Calahan’s invention, the stock information was transmitted to eager investors by mail or telegraph.

Having an up-to-the-minute stock ticker revolutionized the stock market and allowed investors at that time to know prices around the country. Edward Calahan worked for the Gold & Stock Telegraph Company. The ticker was named due to the sound it made as the type wheel turned. Calahan’s telegraph machine printed stock quotes on rolls of paper. Brokerage Houses could rent the telegraph ticker machine from Gold & Stock Telegraph Company and the gold and stock prices would be transmitted to all the machines at once. Thomas Edison patented an improved and more intuitively useful version of Calahan’s ticker in 1869. Thanks to wild success achieved by his ticker, Edison saved enough money to open his own lab where he ended up developing other modern marvels such as the light bulb and phonograph.

What invention has changed your life? Have you ever used the modern day stock ticker? Share your comments in the box below!



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