by Alex Keller

As early as 1858, there were the beginnings of a stock exchange in downtown Cincinnati where members met every Wednesday and Saturday. However, the Cincinnati Stock Exchange (CSE) was not officially organized until March 7, 1885, when 12 brokers agreed to meet at the office of E.N. Laralde on 29 W. Third St. each day to buy and sell securities.

The invention of the ticker in 1867 enabled brokers to share transaction information. Progress in electric communications enabled the use of telephones on the exchange floor in 1878. The first private telegraph wire from New York to Cincinnati was installed in 1888 in the branch office of P.J. Goodhart & Co. on Third Street.

Originally there were two calls a day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, making it possible for brokers to spend more time in their own offices. The “First Call” of Friday, March 13, 1885, listed 10 city (Cincinnati) bonds, 20 railroad bonds, 12 railroad stocks, 15 bank stocks, 20 insurance stocks and seven miscellaneous stocks. Beginning in January 1902, a third session was held at noon, but was suspended in the summer, and finally terminated in February 1903.

During the 1920s, the morning session was continued until all trading was completed, and in 1930 the CSE reverted to two sessions a day.

Then, in 1946, when unlisted trading of New York Stock Exchange listed securities began, CSE hours were changed to coincide with their bigger city peer. Before 1952, trading had always been carried out by members in person, but in 1952 members allowed certain employees to act as alternatives, to act in place of their employer.

In 1948 the sequential “call” system of trading was replaced by a “posting” system. The large chalk-marked board had long recorded bids and offers in precedence as to price, but that listing did not automatically create a transaction. A broker would have to state that he was buying or selling and there would be an exchange of notes. In 1948 these postings became effectively official and could trigger a trade.

(Westheimer, 1991)