A Pool Room Was a Betting Parlor in the 19th Century

It was the place to be seen in, the place to be heard at, and the place where people came to make deals. If you were a sports fan, you could place bets on the outcome of games; if you were a movie lover, you could see a film and make a wager on the outcome; and if you were looking to spend some time with friends, you could pop open a bottle of champagne and make a wager on how many glasses would be drained.

Above all else, a “Pool Room” was the place to be if you wanted to bet on the outcome of the stock market. It was considered to be the most reliable place for individuals to bet on the future performance of companies they were invested in, be it stocks, currencies, or commodities. And, while the pool room may not sound like it would be suitable for everyday use, if you wanted to get your money back plus some, it was an option.

The Birth Of The Modern-Day Pool Room

The first-ever modern-day “pool room” opened its doors in San Francisco in 1858. It was started by Edward P. Judson, who previously worked as a stock market operator for the Pacific Exchange. Upon hearing of his success in operating the exchange, businessmen and investors saw the potential for profit and decided to give it a try themselves. They rented rooms in which they could meet to place their bets and make deals. And, while Judson’s pool room had only five tables, it attracted a huge crowd. A newspaper at the time reported that 300 people came to place bets each day, making it the most popular establishment in the city. The small rooms were too cramped, so Judson began enlarging his operations. He eventually opened up his first “pool room” to large groups, offering them private rooms and serving food and drinks. This made a tremendous impression on his customers, many of whom became regular guests at his establishment.

The Rise Of The Multi-Billion Dollar Businesses

Judson’s pool rooms were instrumental in the growth of the modern-day stock market. It was through his establishments that many large-scale transactions took place, and it was his clients that fueled the development of the American securities market. Not only could individuals come together to make deals in private, but spectators could also follow the action live through a large-scale “Telegraphic Scoreboard” that he installed in his pool rooms. This allowed sports fans to bet on the outcome of games they were following, which is how many of today’s sports books got their start. It wasn’t just about following the action, however, as Judson’s pool rooms also allowed bets to be placed on the results of political parties, natural disasters, and even the weather. For instance, you could look up the current odds for a sunny Florida day and decide to lay your wagers accordingly.

Judson’s Influence

Although Judson’s influence can be seen as far back as the establishment of the Pacific Exchange, it wasn’t until the late 1800s that his name became really recognized. That’s when the Nevada State Gaming Commission decided to name one of its new buildings after him, and the first-ever “Judson Building” opened its doors in 1902. The same year, Judson was also awarded the title of “Officer of the Year” by the El Paso Chess and Checkers Club. By this point, he had established himself as the leading provider of sports betting services in the country. And, while his services were quite desirable, he wasn’t exactly known for being the most generous provider. Many of his employees said that he was a “treat” to work for because he would regularly throw extravagant parties for his staff. These parties often included dancing, food, and champagne. But, while this may have been charming when he was inviting friends and acquaintances, it wasn’t the most practical measure. Many of his employees left him because they couldn’t afford to travel to his parties, which were often held at the expense of his customers.

The Fall Of The “Father Of The American Securities Market”

Judson is credited with helping to develop the American securities market, but he is now most recognized for creating the “Market Leader” newspaper, which was published from 1875 until 1881. This newspaper was quite the popular publication, not only because of Judson’s connections to the financial world but also because of the extensive coverage it gave to social events, art, literature, and politics. It was the first paper to regularly publish photographs, and it pioneered the use of the stereoscope in journalism, as it often put photographs in stereoscopic pairs for its readers. In 1875, Judson also began selling “Market Leaders” in a printed, bound volume format, which helped to make them more accessible to a wider audience. This is how the so-called “Father of the American Securities Market” is often credited with the creation of the modern-day investment book.

Judson Becomes More Than Just A Financier

In addition to helping to develop the American securities market, Judson also played an instrumental role in the development of American business. In 1879, he helped to form a business association that eventually became the American Institute of Banking. And, in 1881, he established the “National Bank Note Company”, which was the first American bank to print its own banknotes and begin offering financial services to the public. These two companies helped to establish the financial and banking industries in the United States.

Later Life

After spending nearly half of his life in the financial world, Judson continued to live and work in New York City during his later years. He was a director of the Newport Casino and the West Point Grey Academy. He also helped to finance the construction of the “Lincoln Cathedral”, which was dedicated to the President Abraham Lincoln.

In his later years, Judson suffered from poor health and grew increasingly frail. In 1893, he suffered a severe stroke. A few years later, he suffered two more strokes. Then, in 1900, he fell and broke his hip. Soon after, he grew delirious and began hallucinating. He died of a heart attack on August 4, 1901, at the age of 67.

The story of Judson isn’t just that of a man who was passionate about sports and betting. It’s also the story of a man who changed the way we looked at finance, business, and investing. While the world of high finance may have lost a key figure, the industry he helped to build will still be felt for years to come.