I just came across the following article, written for Fortune in 2000, by a journalist that spent a week in and around the pits of the CBOT. The author does a good job capturing the mentality at that time regarding the threat of electronic trading to the pit and general observations of the trading floor. Click on the following link to read it:
CBOT Gazes into the Pit The venerable Chicago Board of Trade is waging an uphill battle to keep its open-outcry system relevant in the Internet Age. Our writer spent a week in the pits to see how the fight is going. The conclusion: Always bring Listerine.