Friday, November 14, 2008

Prices in 1930

As I read an article on Sheriff Steadman’s murder, I came across an advertisement for a four tube radio. Afterwards, I thought it would be intresting to do a presentation on prices of 1930. I found it especially interesting because 1930 was right in the middle of the depression.

Everyone needs clothes, so I’ll discuss clothes first. I came across shoes selling for about 3-8 dollars a pair, and I also saw an ad for shoes, that were on sale, for $2.50-$3.50. Socks were 10 and 20 cents a pair. Hats were also relatively cheap at 1-5 dollars. And for the ladies, fur trimmed coats were 39 dollars each.

Food, every loves food. Roast pork sold at 28 cents a pound, sausage sold for 28 cents also. Sirloin sold from 32-45 cents, and veal chops sold at 35 cents a pound, so did sliced bacon. Ham sold for 30 cents a pound, while coffee sold for 23 cents, and corn flakes sold for 8 cents. Three pounds of rice sold for 19 cents, about 6 cents a pound, and a half pound of chocolate sold for 25 cents. Rum was 49 cents a pint, while a dozen oranges went for 54 cents. Cod liver oil, a personal favorite, was 79 cents a pint, and for the one with a weak stomach, indegestion pills were 25 cents, for a small bottle, and 75 cents for a large one. And, although it hardly passes for food, aspirin was 49 cents for a bottle. Also, listerine went for 10 cents, for a small bottle, and a quarter for the large one, and tooth paste went for 10 cents a tube.

Believe it or not, they had cars way back then. A 1930 Chevy Roadster went for 495 dollars, while a Ford Roadster went for 435 dollars. A 1930 Chevy Coupe went for $565, while a Ford Coupe came out to be $500. The 1930 Chevy Sedan went for 675 dollars, and the Ford Town Sedan went for $670. Now, you could think that Ford was a better value, but personally, I think Chevy was more expensive because it was, still are, built well, better than Ford. In other prices, a 1927 Model T Sedan went for $175, and the 1926 Model T Sedan went for $100. The “new” Model As went for 550 dollars each. Advertisements also offer cars “as low as $50”, the ads also boasted of “cars with over 50 horsepower”.

Some miscellaneous prices are as follows. Pencils were one cent each and soap cakes were 50 cents a cake. Coffee pots were 55 cents each, while dinner plates were 10 cents each. Hammers were 10, 25, and 50 cents each, according to size, and spark plugs were 25 cents. Paint brushes were 5, 10, and 25 cents, depending on size, and pocket knives were 69 cents to a dollar. Tickets for the Cobleskill theater were 10-40 cents each, and dry cell batteries were 40 and 45 cents.

The oddest, if you could call it that, ad was an ad for “Chesterfield Cigarets”. It’s not odd that it’s a cigaret ad, no, rather it’s who is on the ad. Right on the ad is the picture of a minstrel, not the medieval singer. No, it’s a person white person in black face.

The prices for things were easily found, in fact all the prices I found were in January of 1930. And by the way, the price for the four tube radio was 129 dollars, and that’s excluding tubes.


1. The Cobleskill Times. January 2, 1930.

2. The Cobleskill Times. January 9, 1930.

3. The Cobleskill Times. January 16, 1930.

4. The Cobleskill Times. January 23, 1930.

5. The Cobleskill Times. January 30, 1930.


chesterfield furniture said...

Ben Amirault is the editor for the case management market at HCPro. Ben writes and edits the monthly newsletter as well as the weekly e-newsletter. Ben also organizes case management audio conferences and manages the Case Management Mentor blog.

geniuswrites4u said...

I'm showing my 95 year old grandfather how to use the internet. He is amazed at some of the information out there. We found a post that said spuds were the most popular brand of cigarettes in 1935 which he says is dead wrong, the most popular brands of cigarettes were camel, lucky and chesterfield.