The Story Behind This Collection

Dear Friends & Collectors:

We’re pleased to be able to make this unique offering of authentic Wall Street Stock Ticker Tape Machines and other financial memorabilia. As with all collections of historic interest, there’s a story to be told.

Back in 1998, I was engaged in an exciting business called the Financial Literacy Center.  Our mission was to provide businesses and communities with information and products to improve the financial literacy of targeted populations.

One of our challenges was to make the subject of money and investing fun and non-threatening. One day I came across an image of one of these old 19th-century Stock Ticker tape machines. I soon learned the first stock ticker was invented in early 1868 by Edward Calahan, and improved on by Thomas Edison shortly after that time. There were many types of Stock Tickers, just like there are many types of old cars. But the Universal Stock Ticker (sometimes referred to as the Edison Ticker) was the one that was first produced on a massive scale.

We came up with the idea of replicating a Universal Stock Ticker and make it work today. We wanted it to tick away, pick up current stock prices, and print them out on ticker tape just like they did in the late 19th century. Talk about getting a person’s interest! We accomplished that task, and eventually produced 40 working Stock Ticker replicas. You can still see them at

In order to accomplish the reproduction of the Universal Stock Ticker, we had to reverse engineer the original machine. Michigan is full of amazingly talented machinists, and we found a great one in Klaus Berner of

In order to reverse engineer the machine, and get the approval and sign off of authenticity from The Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village, we had to purchase as many of the Universals as we could find. We had to see the improvements and differences in machines of that era to determine how to offer a 19th-century experience that would actually work in a dependable way.

We had a lot of fun with our working stock tickers. You may have seen us on the floor of the NYSE® with CNBC®, Fox News® with Neil Cavuto®, NPR Radio®, and CNNfN®. Or you might have seen us advertising the “slowest, loudest, most expensive printer” at the high-tech COMDEX® show in Las Vegas, or seen our ad in Architectural Digest®.  It’s also our stock ticker clacking away in that critical scene in the movie Road to Perdition with Tom Hanks.

We were even asked to look at some of the Smithsonian Institution’s collection of rare telegraphs in Washington, DC, and noted they had perfect samples of one Edison and one Phelps Private Line Printer. Priceless! You’ll notice the Edison Private Line original painting included in this collection.

After the manufacturing project was complete, I had all of the original Universal Stock Ticker antiques restored to their original beauty. The restoration was painstakingly completed so as to keep the original parts and shapes intact. Today we have 10 beautiful, authentic, and extremely rare antique Universal Stock Tickers available.

Once I was immersed in late 19th-century and early 20th-century Wall Street, I collected a lot of other artifacts. For example, 6 Self-Winder Stock Tickers, 2 New York Quotation Stock Tickers, Stock Certificates, Telex machines, cash registers, rare banking posters and more. And now I’ve decided to sell the collection off. All of it.

I doubt you’ll ever see many of the items in this collection again. Some of the items in this collection are so rare (such as the Chicago Banking Posters) that there may not be a similar item available anywhere else. Sadly, many of our nation’s best antique Stock Ticker machines were destroyed in the World Trade Centers on 9/11. And, as each machine was retired by Western Union and other companies that produced them, they were destroyed to eliminate any potential competition. Kind of like an army destroying its armaments as it moves on. So even though they produced enough tape for ticker tape parades, there are not many left today.

I hope you enjoy reviewing this collection of Wall Street artifacts. I am sure the items will sell quickly, so please don’t miss out if you see an item of interest. Each item comes with a short story you can display. They're a great conversation piece. You can keep them for your own enjoyment. Or, they’ll make a
once–in-a-lifetime gift for a deserving colleague or a loved one.

Thank you for your interest.


Shawn M. Connors

Heartbeat of Wall Steet Antiques  — © 2017

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