Friday, May 14, 2010


The following is a portion of a typical magazine advertisement dated April 1932."Listerine Tooth Paste at .25 has taught women everywhere the folly of paying .50 or more for a dentifrice. They are buying this new quality tooth paste, made by the makers of Listerine, and applying the $3 a year it saves to the purchase of things they need or want. Groceries, for example. Stockings. A toy for Junior. A tie for Father." At the end of the ad it states:


7 lbs. steak (.43 #) (Note: I have added the conversions)
8 lbs. bacon (.38 #)
10 lbs. ham (.30 #)
8 lbs. lamb chops (.38 #)
2 chickens (1.50 ea.)
a large roast
12 jelly rolls, coffee rings, cheese cakes, or angel cakes (.25 ea.)
6 qts. olive oil (.50 qt.)
20 qts. milk (.60 gal.)
180 oranges (1 1/2 cents ea.)
20 lbs. lard (.15 #)
150 lbs. potatoes (.02 #)
147 lbs. flour (.02 #)
40 lbs. prunes (7 1/2 cents #)
60 lbs. sugar (.05 #)
36 pkgs. rice (.08 pkg.)
15 lbs. coffee (.50 #)
3 lbs. tea (1.00 #)
30 loaves of bread (.10 loaf)
6 doz. eggs (.50 dozen)
7 lbs. butter (.43 #)
6 lbs. cheese (.50 #)
60 pkgs. biscuits (.05 pkg.)
30 cans of soup or beans (.10 can)
30 large cans of evaporated milk (.10 can)
30 cans tomato juice (.10 can)
15 large cans peaches (.20 can)
12 large cans of pears or pineapple or fruit cocktail (.25 can)
20 large cans spinach or corn (.15 can)
30 cans spaghetti (.10 can)
20 cans cocoa (.15 can)
10 jars marmalade (.30 jar)
several lbs. of candy
15 qts. ginger ale (.20 qt.)

I was surprised by a few items, the very inexpensive prices of fruit, for example. Now if we could only combine the wages of 2010, with the prices of 1932, we would have it made! (I'm sorry that I didn't have time to do a metric conversion for those who would have preferred it that way.)


Laurie Aaron Hird said...

I am curious. You mentioned an above ground tank. Did you have a well? Did you have to buy water to put into your tank? You must live in a rather dry part of Australia? "City" water is getting very expensive around here, too. In the country, all you need is a pump (and electricity, of course! :) Bye for now...

gail said...

Hi Laurie,

I should have been a little clearer in my comment. We have a lot of roof space here and we receive about 35" of rain a year, sometimes even 40" Between our shed roof and our house roof we would collect plenty of rain water. We are lucky in Australia, in that we really only have quite mild pollution in our capital cities and in the country virtually no pollution, except if you live near a coal powered electricity station. Many people have water tanks now in Sydney but I would be a little concerned to drink the water without filtering it. Where we live now there would be no problem at all. In fact the water taste so much better than council piped water. Some people do have wells but mostly the water is rain water from the roof. Of course you have to keep your guttering clean and make sure there are no trees to near the house because of falling leaves. You do also need a pump to feed the water to the house. In very dry parts of Australia so people do have to buy water and that can be really costly. Most coastal areas would be fine. When we lived on our sheep farm, we did have a couple of very severe droughts which lasted a couple of years. That was up in the northern tablelands of New South Wales. which is one of the eastern states of Australia. Now we live in the same state but 3 hours south of Sydney on the coast. We are now in retirement and are concerntrating on living a self sufficient lifestyle.
Consumerism is rife here in Australia and we are really trying to grow most of our food and live as simply as possible.

Blessings Gail