Sears’s lowest-priced 30″ four-burner electric range, with bottom oven, was priced, in 1956, at $129.95. (You can find this range on page 1049 of the 1956 Sears catalog.) Home Depot sells a 30″ four-burner electric range, with bottom oven, today for $348.00.By the way, the numbers use the following: "[For 2012] ... the nominal average hourly earnings of nonsupervisory nonfarm private production workers in the U.S. [is] $19.79 (as of October 2012) ... For 1956 I instead use average hourly manufacturing earnings of production workers. That figure is $1.89."
The typical American manufacturing worker in 1956, therefore, had to work 129.95/1.89 – or 69 hours – to buy an ordinary kitchen range. His or her counterpart today must work 348.00/19.79 – or 18 hours – to buy the same sized ordinary range.
Thursday, November 29, 2012
Lessons From a 1956 Sears Catalog
Fascinating, actually! For instance: