Harper's New Monthly Magazine,  10 (1885), 829–53.

The New York Stock Exchange

R Wheatley



Relevant illustrations:

eng. [1]


Telegraphy, Technology, Instruments, Instrument-makers, Patents, Commerce, Neurology, Energy, Health, Language

    While describing the grandiose premises of the New York Stock Exchange, observes that the 'famous Callahan "ticker", whose patent was purchased of the Gold and Stock Telegraph Company by the Western Union Telegraph Company, and which prints its electric messages on endless strips of paper, is perpetually at work during the hours of business' (831). Admires the 'arrangements for heating and cooling' the interior of the Stock Exchange building, noting that the 'ventilating apparatus is as effective as it is necessary, and cost $30, 000. Not only does it supply pure air, but perfumes it at the same time', so that '"What bouquet have you this morning, doctor?" is not an uncommon inquiry of the superintendent' (832). Reflects that the 'activities of stock-brokerage involve exhaustive drain of vital energy. The nervous force necessarily expended in rapid reasoning and quick decision is often directed into other channels to relieve the overtasked brain', especially activities such as 'base-ball contests', 'Græco-Roman wrestling' and 'practical jokes' (844). Stresses the importance of the 'quotation clerks, who are also telegraph operators' who 'send the news by "sounders" to the main offices of the Western Union and Commercial Union Telegraph Companies', from where the 'news of sales is sent by "transmitter" from each office over the tickers, of which there are many hundreds in and out of the city, in the offices—private, in hotels, club rooms, etc.—of their patrons'. Also notes that 'Stock-brokers [...] establish private telegraph codes between themselves and clients, codes in which certain words stand for names, phrases, numbers, etc.' (850)

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