Ticker Tape Parades

What Are the Parade Markers?

All along Broadway in Lower Manhattan remains historic markers for each parade that took place over the years. These plaques are inlaid into the sidewalks on either side of New York’s most famous avenue: Broadway. The first parade took place in October 1886, and the most recent in July 2019.

Ticker Tape History

Ticker tape machines used ticker tape inside it to relay stock market prices.. Every office in Wall Street had a few of these machines. When Lower Manhattan unveiled The Statue of Liberty in October 1886, the parade had celebrated by marching up Broadway. Stockbrokers even filled many of the offices along Broadway. As the parade passed underneath their windows, stock brokers ripped some of the ticker tape off and threw it out their windows onto the parade. It came down from the buildings like confetti. The ticker tape parade was born.


What is a Ticker Machine?

From 1867 until the 1970s, ticker machines communicated stock prices, before phasing out. They operated over a period of 100 years on Wall Street and around the world. The style of these machines developed and changed. Styles updated by the 1930s with the then-popular art deco style. Architecture, automobiles, locomotives and appliances all sported the art deco style. The utilitarian stock ticker machine took on the design sensibilities of the era.
By the 1960s, the machine age had dawned. Many small machines devolved in a somewhat less attractive and basic style. The machine pictured above from the 1960s typifies design of the decade.
These old machines were once the lifeblood of Wall Street but were later relegated to back rooms and museums. Wall Street has replaced what was once known as an essential machine, with a smarter computer. Where an endless array of trading data is available to anyone, at any time, in an instant. Let us not forget our humble origins and the beauty of the antique ticker machine!

Ticker Tape Parades

The mayor of New York City gets to decide who to honor with a ticker tape parade. To celebrate important events New York held Ticker tape parades. The parades were for events such as the first landing on the moon, the end of World War II or visiting dignitaries. In the 1950s, these parades were particularly commonplace. In 1951 and 1962, there were 9 parades each year. 1949, 1954 and 1959 each boasted 8 parades. Sometimes the Mayor separated parades by as few as 3 or 4 days! Here is a great video of a 1962 ticker tape parade honoring astronaut John Glenn:

 Ticker Tape Parades

Modern Parades

The ticker tape machine was replaced decades ago with the digital stock ticker. The old machines, along with their tape, are now extremely rare. Although we still hold the parades on Broadway, spectators at modern parades no longer have access to large quantities of the ticker tape. A few resourceful people in offices along Broadway find confetti to throw onto the parade. Mostly, however, the crowds throw toilet paper rolls and newspapers.

NY Yankees Ticker Tape Parade 2009



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