Museum Purchase

"Silver in the Golden State," Sept. 1986-Oct. 1988

Ticker Tape Machine. Description: "Western Union Telegraph Co" "2825 Universal Ticker 3-A 22 ohms." a. ticker tape machine b. glass dome History: of type invented by E. J. Calahan in 1867. Dimensions: a. 8 1/2 x 8 1/2 x 8 1/2" b. 10 x 10 x 12" From the History Information Station: The first telegraph line was installed between Washington, D.C. and Baltimore in 1844. By the 1860s the nation was united coast to coast by telegraph lines. Keeping in mind that the telephone was not even invented until 1876, it is easy to understand the importance of the telegraph. Businesses relied on it to keep in touch with their nationwide networks of salesmen and customers; the railroads needed it to operate the trains safely and according to schedule; reporters used it to flash news stories from city to city. The telegraph was the beginning of the communication revolution that now brings us live television reports from around the world. Think of how much you depend on being able to communicate instantly with people and places more than a day's horse-ride away. What would it be like if you couldn't? Our world is flooded with business papers: invoices, credit statements, advertising. We can scarcely imagine doing business without it. However, in the early 19th century, most businesses were local, allowing face to face dealings between buyer and seller, with little need for paper records. By mid-century, steampower and mass production techniques to manufacture goods in large quantitites, new printing technology to produce illustrated advertising and railroads to deliver products and mail across country, changed the nature of business. Increasingly, businesses had to rely on paper to keep track of their far-flung enterprises. By the 1860s, the Patent Office was flooded with paper-handling inventions: desks, filing cabinets, dictating machines, typewriters, copying machines and even paperclips. In the late 1890s, the manila file folder was invented to replace pigeonholes like those in the Wooton desk. And now, some are predicting that computers will replace paper and the need for files. What do you think will happen?

Used: Western Union Telegraph Company | Stock market

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