Learn what happened in business in today’s past


August 21:

1999: A record price (in dollars unadjusted for inflation) is paid for a membership seat on the New York Stock Exchange: $2.65 million -- quite a rise from the record low price for a seat, set in 1942, of $17,000. Five years later, seats will be trading for around $1 million.


1754: William Murdock is born in Bellow Mill, near Cumnock in Ayrshire, England. In 1792 he invents coal-gas lighting, enabling the streets of London -- and, soon, most of the worlds major cities -- to be illuminated at night. For the first time, sunset does not have to mean darkness, fear does not have to fill the streets at night, and human productivity and safety take a great leap forward.

http://www.britannica.com/eb/article?tocId=9054338; http://www.electricscotland.com/history/other/murdoch_william.htm; http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/murdock_william.shtml