curb trader

Today’s traders are spoiled by their Bloomberg terminals.

Back in the day, before broadband fired live quotes and analysis straight to our smartphones, people used to read bid-ask spreads off of chalkboards and historical data off of miles of ticker tape.

We decided to go back in time to see how trading was done in the pre-Bloomberg terminal era. Even before ticker tape was a thing.

With the help of images from the Museum of American Finance in New York, we put together a brief visual history of trading technology, from ticker tape to the present.

Editor’s Note: Former Business Insider writer Rob Wile contributed to the original version of this feature.

Brokers used to call the main trading room in downtown New York “The Curb Exchange.” This was before it became the American Stock Exchange.

Photo from 1915.

Most of the time, deals would be conducted out of windows to traders on curbs via hand signals.

The traders were hardcore. Here they are on the Curb Exchange in the middle of a snowstorm.

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