LED Ticker Tape
Ticker machines were the earliest format for transmitting stock prices across telegraph lines starting in the late 1800’s. A machine called a “Stock Ticker” printed company symbols followed by the latest price and volume on a thin paper strip. The term “ticker” came from the sound as the prices printed.
HISTORY OF LED TICKER TAPE
In its infancy, the ticker used the same symbols as Morse code as a medium for conveying messages. One of the earliest practical stock ticker machines, the Universal Stock Ticker developed by Thomas Edison in 1869, used alphanumeric characters and printed at a speed of roughly one character per second.
These machines printed a series of ticker symbols (usually shortened forms of a company’s name), followed by brief information about the price of that company’s stock. The thin strip of paper on which they were printed was called ticker tape.
Fun fact: Used ticker tape was cut into a form of confetti, to be thrown from the windows above parades, primarily in lower Manhattan. These became known as ticker tape parades.
Ticker machines became obsolete in the 1960s. None have been manufactured for use for decades. In the 1960s the paper ticker tape was replaced by jets of air that controlled lighted disks. These were eventually replaced by Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs). LEDs steadily progressed from monochrome (80’s-90’s) to tri-color (2000’s) to today’s full color LED Ticker Tapes. Tickers have evolved enormously over the years; the boring text-based tickers are a thing of the past. Today’s tickers show logos, can bend and curve around walls, and give a feel of excitement to any room.
The first ticker displays were primarily used by financial institutions and brokerage firms. Today these displays are common fixtures in lobbies, sports bars, and retail locations. Tickers have become more affordable, which has created an increase demand has for home use as people build state-of-the-art man caves.
Learn more about the different types of financial data that can be shown on an LED Ticker Tape: