This Edison Universal Stock Ticker sold for $32,000 (£24,060) at Christie’s New York.

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As it received and simultaneously printed quotes for stocks, bonds and commodities via Western Union telegraph, Edison’s ‘ticker’, by mechanically transmitting real-time stock market data from exchange floors to brokers and investors across the country, drastically altered the financial landscape.

Such machines were invented by Edward Calahan in 1868, but Edison’s key improvement was a mechanism that enabled all tickers on a line to synchronise so that they printed the same information.

Standing 13in (33cm) high beneath its glass dome, this example above, complete with paper ticker roll, bears the number 13083, which dates it to c.1900.