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1950′s Prices

06 Jan

This menu from 1950 at an F.W. Woolworth store is an excellent example of how much cheaper it was to eat out during the 1950's.

This photo of a full service Mobil service station brings back memories of when twelve stations like this lined Main Street and Military Highway in Pineville, Louisiana with all the stations closed today and nowhere to buy gasoline on Main Street today.

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.

http://applesofgold.com/DSR-1CT-HSI2.html

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:

http://www.thepeoplehistory.com/50sfood.html

This website gives more info on different decades including more prices for those decades:

http://www.thepeoplehistory.com/


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6 Comments

Posted by on January 6, 2010 in Food, Nostalgia

 

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6 responses to “1950′s Prices

  1. Becky Sarasin

    June 7, 2011 at 11:24 AM

    Andrew:
    Came across the F.W. Woolworth 1950 menu image. Interesting info, especially the prices. I am pulling together information for a book about 1950 and am wondering if you would have a high-resolution (300 dpi) digital I could use.
    Becky

     
    • Andrew Godfrey

      June 7, 2011 at 12:55 PM

      Wish I did have a high resolution digital. Best of luck with the book.

       
  2. Sue Ellen

    January 20, 2013 at 4:53 PM

    Thanks for the memories. As late as 1987, I could eat lunch at a Woolworth lunch counter in downtown Toledo, Ohio.

     
    • Andrew Godfrey

      January 20, 2013 at 10:59 PM

      We had a Woolworth lunch counter in our town too. W.T. Grant stores also had a place to each lunch.

       
  3. Barbara Connors Volpe

    January 22, 2013 at 10:54 PM

    Did anyone have a counter at Woolworths that sold only chowmein with dry noodles on a bun served with a frosted mug of rootbeer? Sounds weird but it was a treat.

     
    • Andrew Godfrey

      January 23, 2013 at 7:13 AM

      Barbara, Thank you for sharing about the chow mein with dry noodles and frosted root beer. I don’t remember the chow mein, but appreciate you mentioning it. Frosted mugs of root beer were a favorite of mine. Wish they served root beer that way today.

       

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