Edison Stock Ticker, 1871
Thomas Edison invented this Universal Stock Printer for New York’s Gold and Stock Telegraph Company in 1871. Prior to the development of the “stock ticker,” local messenger boys ran price updates from exchange floors to brokers’ offices. Edison’s stock printer combined the speed and long distance capabilities of the electric telegraph with a simple “ticker tape” printing mechanism that enabled the near instantaneous reporting of stock, bond, and commodity prices from exchange floors to brokers and investors across the country. Communications technologies like the stock ticker, telegraph, and telephone were readily adopted by large corporations and financial firms that depended on timely information to coordinate their internal operations while responding to external market fluctuations.