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Stock Quote Ticker

The first stock quote ticker was developed in the late 1800s by an employee of Western Union, the company then transmitting all stock information by telegraph. The new invention continued to use Morse Code as its internal language. Within two years Thomas Alva Edison had come up with an improved version of the stock ticker, his model using the alphabet to transmit data instead of dots and dashes.

All the pertinent most-up-date information about stocks, from their symbols to their closing prices, was for many years confined to stock tickers. Unless, of course, you were standing on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange and could actually see the Big Board. The stock ticker was generally 15 - 20 minutes behind real-time quotes, because that's how long it took for information to be recorded and then transferred onto the stock ticker.

In the 1960s computers began being touted as the stock ticker's eventual replacement and in fact, that's what came to pass. Nowadays, via computer, you can quite literally have up-to-the-minute, real-time stock quotes at your fingertips.

When attempting to effect trades on today's volatile market, that's exactly the information you need. Anything less is virtually useless.

The sound of the ticker, the mechanism punching the tape as it rolled through the ticker machine, is a U.S. institution. So much so that today's electronic tickers recreate the same sounds so as to be convincing replacements of the old ticker machines, especially as the current versions don't spool out endless streams of paper tape.

We've all seen old movies where the Business Tycoon has a stock ticker machine in his office, apartment, or bedroom (depending on how obsessive he's supposed to be). Today it seems far less trouble (not to mention less expensive) to use the Internet to obtain the latest stock quotes rather than installing an electronic ticker in your home office.

Many Websites claim to offer free stock quotes. In most cases, that's what those quotes are worth as they're not real-time and can occasionally be otherwise erroneous. Most Websites offering real-time quotes are legit, but aren't offering those quotes free. The NYSE doesn't make that information available free, either.

$100,000 per month is approximately what the New York Stock Exchange gets from each business entity wishing to "tap into" their computerized records of daily transactions.

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