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Black Box Stock Tickers



The 1930 model stock ticker, the new high speed device of which the Western Union has ordered 10,000 and has begun installation in brokers offices throughout the country. The company is spending $4,500,000 in an effort to speed up stock quotations service of the nation to keep pace with the new era of six or eight million share trading days on the Stock Exchange. The task is the largest change in the history of market quotation facilities and is the culmination of three years of labor, six months training of personnel in schools of five cities, the construction of 5,000 miles of city-to-city wiring and circuit changes in 350 cities and towns of the North American continent. The 10,000 new High-Speed tickers have been ordered at a cost of $2,500,000 to be rented to brokers in the U.S.

The Black Box Ticker hit Wall Street around December of 1930.  The Teletype Corporation began developing the technology about 1927, and after the crash of October 1929, stock brokers needed a faster, more reliable machine.


Western Union High Speed Ticker

In the excitement over the new ticker, Western Union fully expected to take control over Dow-Jones Broad Tape News Service. Either through direct competition or by forcing Dow-Jones to lease tickers directly from Western Union.
(January 1930) - ANNUAL REPORT of The Western Union Telegraph Company FOR THE YEAR 1929, Page 1 - Quotation tickers in service increased over 22%. The growth in volume of New York Stock Exchange transactions having demonstrated the need for more rapid ticker transmission, a new type of ticker, of increased capacity, has been developed by the Teletype Corporation and it is expected will be in operation during the present year. Systems for handling Dow-Jones News were established on the Pacific Coast and also between Chicago and San Francisco. The Teleregister Corporation, in which your Company has a controlling interest, has inaugurated in New York City its centrally operated market quotation board service for display of New York Stock Exchange quotations; and extensions of this service to Chicago and other cities will be effected as soon as practicable.
Fortunately for Dow-Jones, they were able to quickly create a high-speed broad tape ticker for their service. The new ticker operated off of telephone lines, so they no longer required Western Union's nation-wide network of telegraph cables.

By 1934, The New York Quotation Company (owned by the New York Stock Exchange) had switched almost exclusively to the black box ticker.

The black box went through a few changes in the early years, and Western Union began changing over in 1938 to the new 5A model, converting many older, slower machines to sports tickers.

Well over 20,000 were produced into the late 1950's.




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