This morning I got an email inviting me to tell how much we're paying for gas in our City and State. I did that, and the rest of the day my in-box has been filled with other people's responses.
Gasoline seems to run anywhere from about $3.45 per gallon up to more than $5 (in Hawaii). Many of the people who responded talked about how the price of fuel is driving everything else up as well. They say they can cut back on driving, but many on a fixed income are worried about needing to cut back on eating.
The whole conversation reminded me of some articles I clipped from our local newspaper recently: from the "Looking Back" column.
One entry, the "Blue Lake news" dated February 1931, noted that Mr. Chambers and Mr. Black had gone into town together to get haircuts. When they got there they found it would cost them 6 dozen eggs, so they came home to "Let Mrs. Chambers practice with a bowl and scissors."
I couldn't help but compare those prices to what we pay today. While the barber no longer would accept 6 dozen eggs in payment (or would he??) that would be about $12 worth of eggs. Can a man get a haircut today for $12? Probably, unless he went to a "stylist."
The next entry tells a little different story...
Last week they had news from the ads. 20# of potatoes were going for $1.29 - and a pair of coveralls was $1.28. So those two merchants could trade their wares and come out about the same.
Right now 20# of potatoes would cost anywhere from $5 to $10, depending upon the sales. But you sure couldn't buy a pair of coveralls for $10. Looking around on line, the cheapest are about $30.
So how come the price of potatoes and eggs and haircuts didn't keep up with the rising price of coveralls?
Back to the gasoline...
I looked it up on line and found that the average price of a gallon of gas in 1931 was ten cents. If the price of potatoes had kept up with the price of gas... they'd be about $2.25 per pound.
Photos courtesy of Dreamstine.