$13,000,000 Deal Made By Phone (Nov, 1936)

$13,000,000 Deal Made By Phone

AN OPERATOR in the exchange of the New York Telephone Company placed a call to Stockholm, Sweden, which resulted in the closing of a $13,000,000 deal, although she did not know it until after completing connections. The call, originating in the offices of a New York bank, verified the delivery of certain sums to interested parties in both New York and Stockholm.

In handling the call, the message first traveled to the London telephone exchange where it was amplified and then continued on its journey. The message was amplified again in the Stockholm exchange and sent out over the local lines to the Swedish bank handling the matter, a match stock deal.

  1. John Savard says: March 3, 20102:41 pm

    A match stock deal? Initially, I wondered if this historic telephone call might have involved one Ivar Kreuger, whose business was indeed located in Sweden. However, the downfall of the Kreuger empire took place in 1932.

  2. KD5ZS says: March 3, 20105:08 pm

    Electronic funds transfers are so common now.

  3. fluffy says: March 3, 20103:18 pm

    I remember when buying and selling stocks on the Internet was seen as an “OH WOW you can DO that?!” thing too.

  4. Tom says: March 3, 20105:23 pm

    Remember the ads for online brokerage accounts (TD?) with the old guy buying stock online with the help of geeky guy “Stuart” who said “Let’s light this candle! It seems so quaint now.


  5. carlm says: March 4, 201012:28 am

    I read the article differently. The transaction was VERIFIED over the phone. It wasn’t made over the phone. It was essentially “did you get the check that was in the mail?” It was the closing of the deal. It was 1933. The WOW factor was more of the fact that it was a long distance call to Sweden. Global communication was very very new and still an amazing feat.

  6. jose says: March 7, 20104:26 pm

    From Wikipedia:

    When the first transatlantic telegraph cable was laid in 1858 by businessman Cyrus West Field, it operated for only a month; subsequent attempts in 1865 and 1866 were more successful. Although a telephone cable was discussed starting in the 1920s, to be practical it needed a number of technological advances which did not arrive until the 1940s. Starting in 1927, transatlantic telephone service was radio-based.


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