Lower Manhattan, 1920. A rowdy crowd congregates where Broad Street meets Morris. One well-dressed gentlemen shouts orders to an office worker three stores above. A sketchier character talks up a Colorado gold mine to anyone who will listen. Some jokester hawks shares in cocker spaniel puppy – 10 cents apierce – while an apple-seller haggles with hungry customers.
Welcome to the Curb Exchange, a network of brokers who traded securities alfresco from min- 1800s until their increasingly noisy activities found shelter in 1921 (at 86 Trinity Place). In 1953, the Curb Exchange became the the American Stock Exchange, which was acquired by the New York Stock Exchange in 2008.
Sources: The New York Times and Williams Glackens, Curb Exchange.