I can remember driving with my sister to Hiawatha, Kansas from Pineville, Louisiana to see our mother. We took advantage of a gas price war in Texarkana, Arkansas to buy regular gas for 24 cents a gallon in 1969. 51 years later the price of gasoline here in Knoxville, Tennessee is in the $2.50 range.
The gas that cost a total of $4.80 in 1969 would cost $50 today to fill a 20 gallon tank.
The average price for a gallon of gas in 1950 was 18 cents with the price at the end of the decade being 25 cents so it was a bargain to buy gas for 24 cents ten years after 1959.
Car Prices in 1950′s
The average cost of a new car was $1,510 in 1950 and by the end of the decade was $2,200.
Even a Chevrolet Corvette was only $3,631 in 1958. A Cadillac convertible sold for $5,400 in 1959 with a 325 horsepower engine.
Prices For Other Items in 1950′s
Men’s all wool suits sold for only $28.90 in the 50′s while a cotton check dress sold for only $3.29. A one carat diamond ring sold for $399. This one carat diamond ring sells for $4,125 today.
One price that doesn’t seem cheap even now is the Ronson men’s shaver selling for $28.95. It is amazing that a Singer portable sewing machine sold for $19.90. The latest Singer portable sewing machine sells for $89 today.
Even rollaway beds sold for only $14.99 during the 50′s.
50′s Grocery Prices
There were many bargains found at the grocery stores in the 50′s:
Cheese – 45 cents a pound
Campbell tomato soup – ten cents a can
Coffee – 37 cents a pound
Eggs – 79 cents dozen which is another price that has not risen much in the last 50 years.
Sugar – 43 cents for five pounds
This link gives more examples of cheaper grocery prices in the 50′s:
This website gives more info on different decades including more prices for those decades: