|Encyclopaedia Britannica 11th Edition||Public Domain via Project Gutenberg|
a slang financial term for the office or business of an inferior class of stockbroker, who is not a member of an official exchange and conducts speculative operations for his clients, who deposit a margin or cover. The operations consist, as a rule, of a simple bet or wager between the broker and client, no pretence of an actual purchase or sale being attempted. The term is sometimes, though loosely and wrongfully, applied to [v.04 p.0721]all stockbrokers who are not members of the recognized local exchange. The origin of the word is American. According to the New English Dictionary it is supposed to have arisen in Chicago. The Board of Trade there forbade dealings in "options" in grain of less than 5000 bushels. An "Open Board of Trade" or unauthorized exchange was opened, for the purpose of small gamblers, in a neighbouring street below the rooms of the Board of Trade. The lift used by members of the Board of Trade would be sent down to bring up from the open Board what was known as a "bucketful" of the smaller speculators, when business was slack.