Finance Gallery Intro

 Audio Guide

Finance in NYC

Narrated by David J Cowen, President & CEO for the Museum of American Finance


New York City truly has finance in its DNA more than any other city in the world. As part of the land of the Lenape people, Manhattan’s Broadway was founded as a footpath used by residents for trade and commerce. When the Dutch originally arrived in the 17th century, it was to create a colony established for the purpose of trading animal pelts, principally beaver skins. The colony became part of Great Britain before fighting for autonomy as part of the American Revolution. The British evacuated the city on November 25th, 1783, and that date was celebrated in New York for over a hundred years. When the United States commenced on April 30th, 1789, George Wahington took the oath of office downtown at the Federal Hall, which still stands today. The city became the first capital of the new nation. The New York Stock Exchange, which has its roots in an agreement signed in 1792 under a buttonwood tree on Wall Street, is one of the world's oldest stock exchanges. And right around the corner from where you are standing is the all-electronic NASDAQ Exchange founded in 1971. In popular culture, from Hollywood to television, Wall Street has become internationally synonymous with finance. It's because of finance that the city has such a hold on the world’s imagination as a place where fortunes are made and legacies are born, leading to the expression from the famous song “New York, New York,” “If I can make it there, I can make it anywhere.”