Trading Post No 12

July 22, 2008


Photo-reportage by guest blogger Emmanuel Didier (assisted by Martha Poon).


Trading Post No 12 at the University of Chicago Graduate School fo Business


This is what you see when you enter the University of Chicago’s Graduate School of Business: Trading post No 12.  It is a horse shoe shaped desk from which was traded, in its day, a specific set of shares including Gould, General Motors and Central Telephone and Electronics.



 As this brass panel explains, as the NYSE became electronic, the old exchange posts were sent to different schools and museums throughout the US.




The desk is designed for share quotes to appear on an convex panel running around the top. 




Traders presumably stood on the outside of desk where they could see these prices.  The desk provides pull-down seats, perhaps for them to rest while waiting for orders.  Note the impressive number of built-in drawers and cubby holes.




The agents receiving the transactions presumably stood inside of the horse shoe…




 ….where they had their own little drawers and organizational devices.




According to Greg Redenius, the facilities person responsible for taking care of No 12 and the only person able to provide any meager information about it, “the center ‘island’ with the holes in it worked similarly to the vacuum transport system at a typical bank drive through”. 





Here I am pressing the buttons.


If you have “visual question” please ask – I’d be happy to go and take further photographs. Coming soon, a report on my recent trip to the Chicago Board of Trade…


Emmanuel Didier is a researcher at CSDIP in Paris and was a visiting scholar at the Morris Fishbein Center for the History of Science and Medicine, University of Chicago this spring.



His forthcoming book, En quoi consiste l’Amérique? Les sondages et le New Deal, (What is the Composition of America? Statistical Surveys and the New Deal) is forthcoming from La Découverte.