Friday, May 14, 2010

FOOD PRICES IN 1932 AMERICA

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:

OTHER THINGS YOU CAN BUY WITH THE $3 YOU SAVE

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.)