For those of us who entered the exchange-traded derivatives industry before today’s algorithmic trading systems were ever contemplated, John McDermott’s article “A Eulogy for the Pit Trader” in the current edition of MEL (click here to access) provides a nostalgic look back at the days when a futures market constituted hundreds of persons standing side by side (or maybe on top of each others’ toes) in trading pits (or rings if you were in New York) screaming and hollering their bids and offers, surrounded by a cacophony of clerks, runners, telephone cords, trading booths and an avalanche of paper. I personally prefer to watch the film Trading Places for the umpteenth time when I want to recollect the wonderfully chaotic days of active floor trading (which I did most recently just three weeks ago). However, Mr. McDermott’s brief article provides insight into five individuals’ (including one woman’s) experiences as Chicago-based floor brokers before and after the turn of this century, describing their entry into the profession, some of their most memorable experiences on the floor and their thoughts on the demise of an important historical institution. It’s just an appetizer at best, but it’s still tasty.