Star Electric Stock Ticker, ca. 1885

Value (2010) | $8,000 Retail$10,000 Retail
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GUEST:
My wife, actually, is the one that purchased it at an auction approximately 3 1/2, maybe four months ago. It was one of the last items on sale, so... she bid on it and got it.

APPRAISER:
The stock ticker has been around a long time. It was actually invented in 1867. And Thomas Edison made improvements to it, as he did to just about everything else. In the 1870s, these were used on a contract basis. It cost six dollars a week to have a stock quotation sent to your office.

GUEST:
Wow.

APPRAISER:
On the transmitter end, there was a man or woman sitting at a keyboard, typing, and it would relay signals to this device, which was then translated into numbers or letters. In 1883, there were a thousand of these used, just in the New York Stock Exchange.

GUEST:
Wow.

APPRAISER:
And it was, at that time, a pretty magical device from a technological standpoint. This one I think dates from about 1880, 1885. It has great graphics. It has wonderful lettering here on the front.

GUEST:
Yes.

APPRAISER:
It's not an Edison, but it was made... I believe you said the Star Manufacturing Company.

GUEST:
Star Electric Company.

APPRAISER:
Star Electric Company. We did notice that there was one little pin missing here, but that really doesn't affect its value. You said that your wife got this at auction.

GUEST:
Yes.

APPRAISER:
Do you remember what she paid for it?

GUEST:
Yes, she bid $1,700 for it.

APPRAISER:
It's in great condition. I've talked with my colleagues here, and we think that a retail price on this would be $8,000 to $10,000.

GUEST:
Wow. Wonderful.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Mark F. Moran Appraisals of Antiques & Fine Art
Iola, WI
Appraised value (2010)
$8,000 Retail$10,000 Retail
Event
Des Moines, IA (August 07, 2010)
Period
19th Century
Material
Glass

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