How much did toys and clothing cost during the Great Depression of the 1930s? What would they cost today?
Look at the "Then and Now: Prices" table below. In the left column is a list of women's clothing, men's clothing, games and toys and household goods. In the middle column, the price of each of these items is listed based on advertisements from 1932. Look through a current copy of your local newspaper to find out what it would cost to buy the same item today. Write that amount in the right column.
Some of those 1930s prices look pretty low compared to today's costs, don't they? Why? Look at the "Then and Now: Wages" table. Do people earn more or less now than they did in the 1930s? How do the prices compare to the wages? How many weeks would it take to buy each of the items on the table of prices? If an item costs less than a week's wages, divide the week's wages by 40 to estimate the hourly wage and figure out how many hours it would take to earn the money to buy the item.
(If you can't view or print the tables below, go to the graphic of the "Then and Now: Prices" and "Then and Now: Wages" handout. Use your browser's Back button to return to this page.)
|Leather or Suede Bag||$2.25|
|GAMES AND TOYS||THEN||NOW|
|Sled that Steers||$3.95 - $8.95|
|Ping Pong Table||$23.50 to $37.50|
|Mechanical Toys||3 for$.59|
|ITEMS FOR THE HOME||THEN||NOW|
|Portable Electric Sewing Machine||$23.95|
|Electric Washing Machine||$33.50|
|WEEKLY WAGES (general averages)||THEN||NOW|
- Create a Great Lakes Fantasy Trip
Thursday, November 13, 1997