Little Bits of History

Integrity Protecting the Works of Man

Posted in History by patriciahysell on March 8, 2014
New York Stock Exchange building

New York Stock Exchange building

March 8, 1817: The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is founded. Their history began on May 17, 1792 when the Buttonwood Agreement was signed by 24 stockbrokers outside 68 Wall Street in New York City. On this date, the organization drafted a constitution and renamed themselves the New York Stock & Exchange Board with Anthony Stockholm as their first president. The Exchange was located in a rented room leased back in 1792 for $200 per month. That location was destroyed in the Great Fire of New York in 1835 and they were forced to move to temporary lodgings. The name changed again in 1863 to the current one and two years later they moved to 10-12 Broad Street.

Beginning on September 20, 1873 the NYSE closed for ten days because of the Panic of 1873. The cause of the panic and ensuing depressed economy, both in America and Europe, remains under debate. It took about six years to recover. Once the economy rebounded, stocks were once again soaring and between 1896 and 1901 the volume of stocks traded increased six times as the markets expanded. With all this business, a new headquarters was needed. Eight New York architects were invited to compete for designing the new building. George B. Post’s neoclassical design won and the Exchange building at 10 Broad Street as well as adjacent buildings were demolished, beginning May 10, 1901.

The new building, located at 18 Broad Street cost $4 million to build and opened on April 22, 1903. The trading floor was 109 x 140 feet and one of the largest volumes of space in the city at that time. There was also included a skylight in the 72-foot high ceiling. The building’s façade has six tall columns topped with Corinthian capitals. The marble pediment over these contains high-relief sculptures by John Quincy Adams Ward with Paul Wayland Bartlett helping with the design. The Piccirilli Brothers carved the design depicting Integrity Protecting the Works of Man. More room in separate spaces was added in 1922, 1969, and 1988. Both of the last two additions were done with state of the art technology and both were closed in 2007.

The NYSE is the world’s largest stock exchange by market capitalization. It’s listed companies are held at $16.613 trillion as of May 2013 (there has been a rising market since this date). The average daily trading value was about $169 billion for 2013. The trading floor is located at 11 Wall Street today and is comprised of four rooms used for trades. A fifth room is located at 30 Broad Street but it was closed in 2007. The main building as described above was listed as a National Historic Landmark in 1978. After a merger in 2007, the NYSE Euronext took over operation. In December 2012, it was announced that the company was sold to Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) for $8 billion and it would be headqurtered in Atlanta, Georgia.

The love of family and the admiration of friends is much more important than wealth and privilege. – Charles Kuralt

In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of. – Confucius

It is neither wealth nor splendor; but tranquility and occupation which give you happiness. – Thomas Jefferson

It is not the creation of wealth that is wrong, but the love of money for its own sake. – Margaret Thatcher

Also on this day: Galaxies – In 1934, a picture from the Hubble telescope showed galaxies as numerous as the stars in the Milky Way.
Georgia – In 1957, the Georgia Memorial to Congress was adopted.
New York Going to the Dogs – In 1894, the first US pet license law went into effect.
Vietnam – In 1965, 3,500 US Marines were deployed to South Vietnam.


2 Responses

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  1. vanbraman said, on March 8, 2014 at 10:17 pm

    If only my family still owned the land where my Dutch ancestors lived :-). Thanks for a nice history of the NYSE.

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