14 June 2018
EDISON, Thomas (1847-1931). Edison Universal Stock Ticker. Manufactured by T.A. Edison, Inc., number 13083, c.1900.
Brass mechanism, cast-iron base, and glass dome, 330 x 103mm, with a blank roll of ticker paper and base painted with a notice: “Quotations furnished by the Western Union Telegraph Co / Apply to local manager” (some chipping to paint; mechanism not tested).
An original Edison Universal Stock Printer: the first mechanical means for transmitting real-time stock market data from exchange floors to brokers and investors across the country. Edison’s ticker drastically altered the landscape of New York finance in the late 19th century as it received and simultaneously printed quotes for stocks, bonds, and commodities via Western Union telegraph. The stock ticker was invented by Edward Calahan in 1868 for the Gold and Stock Telegraph Company in New York. Edison developed his universal ticker in 1871, also for Gold and Stock (later a subsidiary of Western Union), and his most substantial improvement to Calahan’s invention was a mechanism that enabled all tickers on a line to synchronize so that they printed the same information. Provenance: George Allen, Medford, New Jersey – Bruce C. Forbes (engraved plaque to verso of base).
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