Historical Returns | Financial Bubbles

Historical Gallery

All of the images in this gallery come from the historical collections of Baker Library at Harvard Business School. They are some of the many artifacts in the library that bring the historic events of the South Sea Bubble to life.

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The South Sea Bubble

The South-Sea Bubble

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The South-Sea Bubble, engraved by James Carter after a painting by Edward Matthew Ward, mid-nineteenth century. Bleichroeder Collection CD gb1 x.

In the early eighteenth century in London, stocks were sold by stock traders called stock-jobbers. Their rowdy behavior got them banished from the Royal Exchange. They first moved their business to the streets and then into coffee houses like Jonathans and Garraways in Exchange Alley, as depicted in this engraving. The London Stock Exchange eventually grew out of these coffee house brokerages and is located in the same area of London today.