The ticker tape machine was one of the first technologies that influenced the financial markets. It was invented by Thomas Edison in 1867 and provided traders a running print-out of stock market fluctuations. Since data was being transmitted to anyone with a receiver, traders for the first time could buy and sell at current market prices. Before the ticker tape, stock prices were delivered by hand in a daily digest.
The ticker tape machine was introduced to what is now the London Stock Exchange in 1872 but it did not provide a direct connection to the exchange. Traders receiving the ticker tape information still had to make a call to their broker if they wanted to take advantage of the stock price. The introduction of the telephone in 1878 did provide a direct two-way connection and threatened many exchange participants.