Sale 21BP02 | Lot 82

EDISON, THOMAS A.[LVA] Edison Universal Stock Ticker.

Catalogue: Rare Books, Autographs & Maps
EDISON, THOMAS A.[LVA]  Edison Universal Stock Ticker.

Lot Details

Lot 82
EDISON, THOMAS A.[LVA] Edison Universal Stock Ticker.
Manufactured by T.A. Edison, Inc., this serial number 7162, early 20th century. Brass mechanism, cast-iron base, and glass dome, 14 x 8 inches diameter including dome (34.5 x 20 cm). Some chipping to paint of base; lacking the paper spooling and inker mechanism that would have been attached to the base of the unit. Plaque affixed to the cast iron base; several small drilled holes opposite where a lamp was affixed. Not mechanically tested.

The Edison Universal Stock Printer was among the first stock tickers. It rapidly became the most ubiquitous mechanical means for transmitting stock market data from the floor of the N.Y.S.E. and other exchanges to brokers and investors, enabling trades to be done in almost real time. This did away with the delays implicit in summary reports and manual transmission of information, which had previously been the most common method of transmitting prices. While not the first such printer (that honor goes to Edward Calahan's machine, first put to use in 1867), Edison's ticker, developed in 1869 and put to use in 1871, used the Western Union telegraph network to convey prices, and it incorporated a number of improvements that made it more reliable than its predecessors. In an especially important development, all the machines on a telegraph line were synchronized by a telegraph operator using Edison's screw-thread unison. The printing mechanism used in these machines is a precursor of the computer printer, producing roughly a character per second on the tape, using an electromechanical printing head.


Estimate: $800 - $1,200
Sold for $18,900 (includes buyer's premium)

Additional Notes & Condition Report

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Estimate: $800 - $1,200
Sold for $18,900 (includes buyer's premium)

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Catalogue Info

Rare Books, Autographs & Maps

Thu, Sep 23, 2021 at 10am EDT