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13 Comments

  1. breeanaputtroff
    February 22, 2012 @ 8:40 pm

    Fun post, Kristy. When I taught second grade, one of our math lessons each year was always comparing a “then and now” price list of items, just like you posted here.

    It was REALLY hard for second graders to understand how much different income was, and why these things would be so cheap (for the ones who had any point of reference at all, lol).

    The most interesting thing, though, was always to calculate the percentage of price increase, instead of looking at just the straight prices. For a lot of things, you realize how much relatively cheaper they are now (a bicycle for instance). Or like in your example above … butter has actually “gone up” more than bacon. 🙂

    Reply

    • Kristy K. James...Living, Loving, Laughing
      February 23, 2012 @ 12:10 am

      Sounds like you were a really fun teacher, Breeana! Maybe if I’d had someone like you I wouldn’t be mathematically challenged today. After multiplication and division, I’m sunk. But glad your students got to see some of this stuff. I love it! In fact, I just finished reading another really old book (more research) and in this story a family rented a 2 story house for $15.00 a month. Whoa! Can you imagine? In our area you can’t touch a 2 bedroom apartment for less than $700 a month…so THAT price has gone up a LOT!

      Reply

  2. coleen patrick
    February 22, 2012 @ 10:20 pm

    “And you survived all that?” Classic! I just laughed out loud.

    Reply

    • Kristy K. James...Living, Loving, Laughing
      February 23, 2012 @ 12:05 am

      A couple of seconds after he said it I laughed, too. And, in fact, have laughed about it a number of times since. Mostly though, I’m just grateful that I’m not as old as my son seems to think I am. 🙂

      Reply

  3. Louise Behiel
    February 22, 2012 @ 11:42 pm

    aren’t kids grand? my son is settling into his 40’s…and shuffling along the way. it’s funny.

    Reply

    • Kristy K. James...Living, Loving, Laughing
      February 23, 2012 @ 12:11 am

      They sure are, Louise. The one good thing about your kids getting older (as long as autism isn’t involved) is that parents begin looking younger all the time. 🙂

      Reply

      • Kristy K. James...Living, Loving, Laughing
        February 23, 2012 @ 12:12 am

        Oops…I meant to add that I used to think that my parents were ancient when they were thirty…until I hit thirty and found that it really wasn’t as old as I thought it was. 🙂

        Reply

  4. Jennette Marie Powell
    February 23, 2012 @ 8:24 am

    Love this stuff! Early 20th century is my favorite. Part of my book is set in the 1930s so I looked at old newspapers too. The ads are the best! Not just for the prices and what was popular, fashion-wise, but just the terminology and slang. Priceless!

    Reply

    • Kristy K. James...Living, Loving, Laughing
      February 23, 2012 @ 11:55 am

      Me, too, Jennette! So much changed in the first twenty years of the 19th century (even the last decade or so of the 1800s). But yes, some of those ads… I also love their idea of news. Visits from out of town relatives, local residents sick or recovering, even bridal shower guest lists and what refreshments were served. It’s no wonder that there was such a sense of community back then. 🙂

      Reply

  5. Donna Forbush
    February 23, 2012 @ 10:34 am

    Love this Kristy, enjoy reading old papers and ads also. Did you know that Grandpa and Grandma rented their house on Harton St. for $25.00 a mo. I’m not sure how long that lasted. It was 2 bedrooms and a path at first, but eventually an inside bathroom was added. Still can’t believe that they lived and raised 8 children there for a short while. I guess some of the “good old days” were a little overrated.

    Reply

  6. Kristy K. James...Living, Loving, Laughing
    February 23, 2012 @ 12:04 pm

    I didn’t know that, Aunt Donna. Wow! Twenty-five a MONTH? And no…I can’t imagine all ten of you in a two-bedroom house! The house on Dunlap is the only one I recall, and it was what? Three bedrooms? Although I almost think I remember someone saying that that the tiny space at the top of the stairs was also used for sleeping. Of course my perspective of that little space is probably not accurate. As far as all of us kids were concerned, it was just another fun place to explore.

    And you are right about the ‘good old days’ being overrated in some ways. Be nice if some of the things from back then had moved forward…like honesty, respect, lack of greed, less crime, etc… 🙂

    Reply

  7. Shelly Immel
    February 25, 2012 @ 10:24 am

    What a fun post, Kristy! I love the comparisons across time. And especially your aunt’s comment on the house w/ 2 bedrooms and a path!

    The first house my husband and I bought (in 1995) was on a big lot, but had 1 bedroom, 1 small bathroom, 2 tiny spare rooms, a very narrow garage taken in to make a living room, and virutally NO closets. It was built in the 1940s like so many starter homes for GIs coming back from WW II. And that was a step up from WW I buildings. More than prices has risen–also our minimum expectations for standard of living.

    Our current home was built in the 1960’s with multiple closets and *2* bathrooms–such a difference. 🙂

    Reply

    • Kristy K. James...Living, Loving, Laughing
      February 25, 2012 @ 1:13 pm

      I love to hear stories about my aunts, uncles and grandparents. The only house I remember them living in was also small (for 10 people), but you’re right about our expectations for a standard of living. My office alone is bigger than two of their bedrooms were. Maybe progress brings with it feelings of claustrophobia. 🙂

      And I have to say…two bathrooms… Yeah! 🙂

      Reply

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