Frequently Asked Questions
- Q: Who invented the stock ticker, and what does Thomas Edison have to do with it?
A: Edward A. Calahan invented the first stock ticker, which was introduced to the New York Stock Exchange in 1867. A young Thomas Edison improved on Calahan's design and made the stock ticker easier to use and maintain. It was Edison's first profitable innovation, and it introduced him to the powerful Wall Street businessmen who funded his subsequent inventions such as the phonograph, the light bulb, and motion pictures. It is the Universal Stock Ticker that we have reproduced.
- Q: Who else was working on this technology in the 1870s?
A: The stock ticker came out of the Heroic Age of Invention. Edward Calahan, Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, Elisha Gray, Nikola Tesla, and others were extremely intelligent and basically created the foundation for today's Internet. The stock ticker was one of the world's first electronic printers. Messages sent in the 1870s using this technology were examples of early e-mail.
- Q: Who thought up the idea of reproducing a stock ticker?
A: A number of people at the Stock Ticker Company have a passion for American history. We are always looking for ways to make the subject of money interesting, fun, and easier to talk about. The stock ticker is an icon of Wall Street and was a key innovation with a rather romantic story behind it. Our goal and passion has been bringing this story to life -- literally.
We thought a working stock ticker would spike people's curiosity and motivate them to learn more about money, history, and innovation. In addition to its educational value, it's a working piece of art.
- Q: Would someone in 1875 notice anything about the Stock Ticker reproduction that is different from an actual 1870s-era stock ticker?
A: Our Stock Ticker reproduction looks like a brand-new 1870s-era stock ticker. Our reproduction is a perfect example of the highest-quality model that Thomas Edison and his team would have worked on themselves. If you could go back in time to 1875 with one of our Stock Tickers, you could hook it up to the original telegraph cables and it would actually work!
- Q: What is the difference between a replica, reproduction, and restoration?
A: Technically our Stock Ticker is a reproduction. A replica is a duplicate of the original work by the original artist. A reproduction is a duplicate of the original work done by others. A restoration is a process of bringing the original work back to its original state without altering its features.
However, this project is best defined as a resumption of manufacturing. We simply picked up the production of the Universal Stock Ticker more than 100 years after production ceased.
- Q: If I inquire about or buy a Stock Ticker reproduction will you rent or sell my name and information?
- Q: Is there a refund policy on your products?
A: Although we're sure that you will be pleased with your purchase, we offer a 30 day money-back guarantee on all of our products.
- Q: If I invest in a Stock Ticker reproduction, what am I purchasing?
A: You are purchasing:
- One Universal Stock Ticker reproduction.
- A Certificate of Authenticity from Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village.
- A beautiful, handcrafted mahogany pedestal. The pedestal is octagonal in shape, with a custom-molded 42-pound cast-iron base. A stunning piece of Victorian furniture in its own right.
- A glass dome, which not only protects the instrument and establishes it as a showpiece, but is part of the historic identity of stock tickers.
- A high-tech, protective carrying case. Not only is your Universal Stock Ticker easy to hook up and use, it's also engineered to be portable. Use it at schools, trade shows, business presentations, retail environments, 401(k) presentations, or any function where it is important to gain the undivided attention of the audience. Or just take it over to Mom and Dad's and have some fun with it.
- A starter kit which includes six rolls of ticker tape, a supply of ink, the owner's manual, remote control, and software on a CD that allows your computer to control the Stock Ticker.
- Your Universal Stock Ticker comes with a five-year limited warranty for all parts and labor. Your ticker is a near-identical reproduction of the original instrument. The difference is that it was engineered using modern technology. The tolerances and performance are much more reliable than in the 1870s. Extensive testing has been done on the working reproductions to ensure quality and reliability.
If your unit does require repair, we'll ask you to ship it back to us in the carrying case. We'll promptly repair the unit and return it to you.
A word of caution. Unless your name is Thomas Alva Edison, please do not disassemble your own Stock Ticker. Tinkering with the Stock Ticker voids your warranty. Follow the owner's manual guidelines for care and maintenance.
- Q: How many rolls of ticker tape are included in my starter kit? How long does each roll last? And what is the cost of an additional roll?
A: You will receive six rolls of ticker tape with your Stock Ticker. Each roll lasts between 12 to 15 hours of continuous operation. At this time we are researching the speed of the stock ticker that operated in 1875. We may increase the speed of our Ticker, in which case the ticker tape may last fewer hours. Please call 866-968-5888 for pricing.
- Q: When can I expect to receive my order?
A: We ship all orders within seven days of receiving payment. We use UPS to provide shipping services and you order can be tracked using their web site.
- Q: How does my computer work with the Stock Ticker?
A: The Stock Ticker is history's first mass-produced electronic printer. Simply think of it as a printer for your computer. Your Stock Ticker comes with a printer cable and a CD with software on it. Load the CD into your computer to control its operation. The commands are simple to follow. You can print personal messages or live stock quotes.
- Q: Does the Stock Ticker always have to be hooked up to a computer to work?
A: No. Four custom messages can be stored. The messages are actually stored on a computer chip located in the power source (the cylindrical-shaped object inside the pedestal). Messages can be activated to print by touching the brass button located on the side of the pedestal, the button on the power source above the on/off switch, or a remote that can activate two messages from a distance. The Stock Ticker does need to be hooked up to a wall socket for AC power.