1500s - 1800s

1568 – Fugger family begins its newsletter system of informing its customers of news that might impact European economies.

1588 – British navy defeats the Spanish armada, which signals a shift in European economic power.

1700s – British newspapers begin publishing advertisements for merchants.

Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper

1700s – Newspapers in both England and the American colonies run information about ships entering and leaving ports and their cargos.

1735 – John Peter Zenger is accused of sedition for criticizing the British government on business-related issues. He is acquitted.

1750s – First “price current” appears. These newspapers list the prices of goods available in a town or city.

1765 – British pass the Stamp Act, which levies a tax on the paper used by printers to publish newspapers.

1776-1783 – Revolutionary War.

1791 – First American factory opens.

Paul Julius Reuter


1793 – The New-Hampden Journal, also known as the Farmers’ Weekly Museum, begins publishing. It is the first U.S. business paper.

1795 – The New York Price Current begins publishing. This business newspaper continues for 100 years and later adds stock prices.

1827 – Journal of Commerce founded in New York.

1827 – Journeyman Mechanics’ Almanac begins publishing in Philadelphia. It is considered the first labor newspaper in the United States.

1835 – The New York Herald ­begins publishing a money page in its newspaper. The page is considered the first business section in a daily newspaper.

1843 – Scottish hat maker James Wilson founds The Economist newspaper in England to fight the Corn Laws and promote free trade.

1849-1862 – Henry Varnum Poor edits the American Railroad Journal. The publication reports on the stock offerings and financial conditions of railroads throughout the country.

Henry Demarest Lloyd

1849 – Julius Reuter founds business news service in Europe.

1858 – Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper uncovers problems in the milk business.

1861-1865 – The U.S. Civil War.

1861 – Intercontinental telegraph line is completed, improving speed of news.

1870 – Thomas Edison introduces improved stock ticker machine.

Charles Bergstresser

1874-1880 – Henry Demarest Lloyd is financial editor of the Chicago Tribune. He later publishes a series of articles exposing business corruption and becomes an outspoken critic of the robber barons.

1876 – Alexander Graham Bell invents the telephone, which will eventually improve the speed at which news is delivered.

1882 – Charles Dow, Edward Jones and Charles Bergstresser begin a wire service that delivers news to investment houses along Wall Street.

1883 – Dow, Jones and Bergstresser begin publishing a business newspaper called Customers’ Afternoon Letter.


1883 – John Swinton, managing editor of the New York Sun, starts John Swinton’s Paper, which advocates for the rights of workers and becomes one of the biggest followers of the labor movement.

Jacob Riis

1884 – Dow Jones publishes its first stock average. It includes nine railroad companies and two industrial stocks.

1887-89 – General Electric and Westinghouse hire publicity agents to promote their businesses.

1889 – The Wall Street Journal begins publishing.

1890 – Jacob Riis publishes “How the other half lives,” a book that exposes poor conditions in housing complexes in New York.

1892 – Editor of The Ladies’ Home Journal announces that the publication will no longer accept advertising from patent medicine companies.