Who Invented the Stock Ticker?

It was in the year 1867 when Edward A. Calahan came up with the invention of the first stock telegraph printing instrument. But was Calahan noted as the first person who invented the stock ticker and was this model the very first product that came out? Or is there someone else who should get the credit?

The Telegraph

Years ago, Claude Chappe invented a non-electric telegraph that used a visual system. This optical system was created in 1794.

After some time, with many modifications (like the invention of the Morse Code by Samuel Morse), the use of the telegraph widely spread. Companies were set up, and jobs were given to people who wanted to work for a telegraph firm.

From Calahan’s Ideas to the Creation of the Stock Telegraph

Calahan was working in the American Telegraph Company, then, when Calahan’s invention of the stock telegraph was created in 1867. Calahan thought that stock prices during those times could actually be produced through a form of telegraphy. And, thus, Calahan started to work on these ideas to create a very useful invention.

When the invention was made, it produced an interesting sound that actually influenced its name, the stock ticker.

Thomas Edison’s Part in the Invention


Before Thomas Edison became known as the inventor of the electric light bulb, this inventor actually started as a simple telegrapher in younger years. After successfully improving the stock ticker model, Edison took on more challenging experiments to create more things. Edison’s invention was called as the Universal Stock Printer.

For the creation of this improved model of the stock ticker, and other related creations, Edison was able to put up the first laboratory – albeit, small in size – and a facility for manufacturing in 1871 in Newark, New Jersey. The money used to set all these things up was garnered from the amount paid to Edison from the inventions that has been created that amounted to $40,000.

The following five years in that same place in New Jersey, Edison continued to make other devices to help the efficiency and speed of the telegraph.

While it was Edison’s first successful invention, the credit still goes to Calahan as being the first person who invented the stock ticker.

Before that creation, Edison already had already made numerous attempts at creating things related somehow to the telegraph. The first invention, however, where Edison garnered a patent was for the electric vote recorder to help speed things up in the voting process was futile. It didn’t earn the inventor success.

To Calahan who invented the stock ticker, and to Edison who further improved the model, the importance of communication with the help of technology still remains – although there are more modern devices nowadays to answer these needs.