I guess this is a retro grouch question . I have a pair of friction thumb shifters that I realized will not actually take a ferrule -- which confused me at first because I've never seen that happen. Someone at the LBS said that some of the older stuff wasn't designed to take a ferrule, so you just run the regular cable housing directly onto the shifter stop...which acts as it's own ferrule.
Is this true? And when did ferrules first appear on the scene?