The Chicago Board of Trade was the world's first futures and options exchange, trading various kinds of commodities (I think mostly agricultural, but I'm not sure). When it first opened in 1848, what commodities were traded there? Any data on commodities (particularly with volumes traded and/or prices) would be very useful.

1 Answer 1


This website: "The History of the Chicago Board of Trade" has a chronology based on what the Chicago Board of Trade traded with some statistics and descriptions. There is also this online reference to a 1917 text: "History of the Board of Trade" about the Board of Trade's early history.

It appears that the initial trade to go through the Board were "to arrive" or forward deliveries of flour, timothy seed, hay and corn. By 1859, a charter was established to standardise quality and product uniformity, as well as providing results from routine grain inspections.

Of course, there is the Wikipedia page with external links.

  • 1
    The links on Wikipedia didn't seem to have anything useful, but the chronology and 1917 text both helped me with what I needed. To avoid linkrot, could you fold in some of the relevant information here?
    – Joe
    Jun 15, 2013 at 16:54
  • There we go, added the titles of each website as well as a brief summary of the first activities in the Board of Trade. Hope this is helpful!
    – user2434
    Jun 15, 2013 at 21:25
  • I think that will be very helpful to future readers, +1 from me.
    – Joe
    Jun 16, 2013 at 1:48
  • well, at least I did one thing right on this site
    – user2434
    Jun 16, 2013 at 2:30

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