Tuesday, September 29, 2009

1909 Prices

I was just flipping through a book of old magazine articles from the early part of the 1900s. I love to read through the old stuff just to see what was popular back one who century ago. Certainly, the articles are about different topics such as "Should Women Be Given the Vote?" and "Why Women Shouldn't Be Given The Vote" and "Millie: The Fictional Story of One Woman Whose Life Was Ruined By Getting The Vote" (I am not making any of this up I swear).

However, given that this was a women's magazine, some of the topics were really very familiar to those you might find today. "Managing Your Home on a Small Budget" was a topic repeated many times with different titles. "Fashions For Real Life" was another. One of the parts that was most striking was the inclusion of prices on a sample shopping list:

Food & Beverages

Apples, .15/6 quart basket
Beef, Sirloin steak, .16/lb
Butter, fancy creamery, .39/lb
Chicken, roasting. .22/lb
Coffee, Best Maracaibo, .20/lb
Eggs, .26/dozen
Fish sardines, .03/can
Flour, 1.75/49 lb sack
Lamb, leg, .16/lb
Lemons, .10/dozen
Macaroni, .10/pkg
Mustard, Colman's, .10/pkg
Peanut butter, .11/lb
Potatoes, white or sweet, .10/6 quart basket
Rice, Japan, .05/lb
Salt, .07/pkg
Soup, Campbell's, .25/3 cans
Tea, 1.00/2 lbs

It all sounds shockingly cheap, but given that the average blue-collar worker earned only about $30-$50 per month, it does put things into a different perspective. Nevertheless, I have to wonder what percentage of income people spent on food or housing versus what they spend today.

1 comment:

SabraGirl said...

I like the image of the blue-color workers. They're very smurf-like ;-)