Some things were the same, but others were much cheaper.
Sometimes it’s fun to look back and see what things used to cost. While some items cost about the same when you factor in inflation, others are wildly different in price than what we are used to today. Have a look at what people used to pay for all kinds of items with this random selection of receipts from 1861 to the early 1990s.
In 1938, the title fee for a 1931 Chevrolet Coupe was only $1.00. This would be around $18.00 in today’s money. To get a car title today costs anywhere from $3 to $100 depending on which state you’re in.
This dry cleaning receipt from the late 1930s shows that to get a coat and a pair of slacks cleaned and 2 pockets repaired cost $1.00. That kind of order would probably set you back $45 or so today.
A home insurance policy against fire, wind, riots, and other home damage in 1968 cost $16.61, which would be just over $124 dollars today.
To completely outfit the Confederate State Court with upholstery, curtains, and carpets in New Orleans in 1861 cost $996.22. While that was a huge sum back then, it’s crazy to think about what $1,000 would get you today for any kind of interior furnishings. It wouldn’t be much and many couches these days cost more than that!
A wholesale order of crackers from the Portland Cracker Company in 1894 cost a whopping $10.58. We love all the slogans and caveats printed on this elegant receipt slip as well! We’d also love to know what “Boston mix” crackers are.
This receipt, most likely from the 1920s or 1930s, shows that to stay at the Bear Lake Lodge with meals and accommodation for 8 days cost $44.06. This also included one day’s rental of liveries for a horseback outing.
To buy meat, lard, vanilla, and soda (baking soda?) in 1927 in Ann arbor cost 92 cents. This would be $13.67 today, although to buy those things today would probably cost a lot more than that.
This early 1990s grocery receipt from Alexander’s in Manchester, New Hampshire, shows just how cheap everything used to be. Domino sugar for 50 cents, Flexistraws for 89 cents, Cher detergent for $4.29, and a loaf of bread for 99 cents are all deals you’d never find today. The final total was $39.99, which in today’s money would be about $76.