Thomas Edison's Stock Ticker invention - a revolution for the financial markets
Years before his invention of the light bulb, Thomas Edison's Stock Ticker was the Twitter of its age...
Paul Fraser Collectibles, Tuesday 15 November 2011
Genius Thomas Edison remains best-known for inventing the telephone transmitter and light bulb. But what was he doing before this history-making 1877-1880 period?
What was Edison's first major creation, for instance? Well, for an answer you need look no further than the stock markets...
It was on this day (November 15) in 1867 that the first 'stock ticker' was unveiled in New York City, a machine which ultimately revolutionised the mainstream financial markets.
For the first time, up-to-the-minute prices were available to investors all over the country - whereas before the information had been carried by mail or messenger.
Edison didn't invent the first stock ticker, but was on the cusp of the new development. By 1869, he had completed his own modified version of the device with an alphanumeric printing speed of approximately one character per second.
It could also be used with a special typewriter connected from long-distance via telegraph wires - a kind of financial Twitter for the 19th century.
In other words, Edison's modified device known as the Universal Stock Ticker was a big deal at the time. Which is why we feel so lucky to have acquired one at Paul Fraser Collectibles.
This machine was used for more than 80 years. It held the answers for nationwide stock investors, with exclusive stock and commodity quotations, and breaking reports on developments including the 1930s Great Depression.
It's historic features include a lacquered brass frame, telegraph mechanise, twin alpha-numeric rollers and a tape feed.
The machine is also historically significant for being Edison's first-ever invention. It is engraved with the words "M'F'D. BY T.A. EDISON. INC", alongside the following...
"Edison Stock Ticker This authentic old self winding stock ticker was designed by Thomas A. Edison in 1870. It was used for about eighty years for receiving stock and commodity quotations from the Nations' leading exchanges."
Bearing in mind that a patent document for Edison's light bulb sold at auction for $195,000 in 2009, we have Edison's Universal Stock Ticker for sale at a comparatively much lower price.
There is no question as to this item's authenticity and historical importance, and it can be your for a relatively low value of £29,950 ($48,000).
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